Masaka District to Tighten Assessment of Candidates
Masaka District leaders are mooting for tight screening of candidates before they are allowed to sit for their final exams. According to the leaders, this is aimed at eliminating the high number of students who are classified as ungraded in the district.
According to last year’s Primary Leaving Examination-PLE results released last week by the Uganda National Examinations Board-UNEB, 186 students from the district were ungraded and classified under division U, and cannot be admitted for secondary education.
UNEB awards Division U to candidates who fail to attain the minimum level of performance that can be graded and such students are usually advised to repeat Primary Seven.
The ungraded students are part of a total of 2,099 candidates that sat for PLE in 49 examination centers in Masaka district. 311 candidates scored first grade, 1026 got second grade, and 315 and 262 students emerged in third and fourth grades respectively.
Francis Kimuli, the Masaka District Speaker, indicates that they are concerned by the high number of candidates who continuously fail examinations in the area. He says that the district social services and education sectoral committee recommends that head teachers tighten the candidates’ assessment processes to only allow those who are capable of passing the exams.
He says that the district is going to reconsider the policy of automatic promotion of learners, especially in candidate classes, to ensure that students don’t through the education system simply as a ritual.
According to the district PLE performance summary; 52 of the ungraded students are from three schools that had the majority of their candidates failing the exams. The schools include; Kyantale Primary school where 17 out of 32 candidates were ungraded, Bukakata Primary with 21 out of 37 candidates ungraded and Kasaka RC primary where 14 out of 26 candidates scored no grades.
Kimuli indicates that their assessment points to a trend of many students who fail to pass exams in the area, saying that it is high time they undertook serious interventions to reverse it.
Gerald Nsambu, the Masaka District Education Officer, says they have summoned the head teachers of the affected schools to explain the poor performance in their schools, adding that these may also face administrative actions.
Besides the teachers, Nsambu says they have tasked the School Management Committees to identify parents of the ungraded learners as a way of finding the cause of the problem, such that they can collectively provide a solution.
Paul Migadde, a retired teacher and parent at Buwunde Primary School in Kyesiiga Sub County partly blames the poor performance of learners on the local council leaders, who he says abdicate on the responsibilities of monitoring schools and ensuring that parents province scholastic materials to learners.
According to UNEB 97,109 out of 881,810 candidates that sat for PLE in 2022 emerged ungraded.