The Uganda National Examinations Board has released the 2022 Primary Leaving Examinations – PLE results showing an improvement in performance overall compared to the last two years’ performance.
A total of 714,702 candidates passed the PLE compared to 659,910 the previous year, meaning that overall, more pupils qualify to join the post-primary institutions than the previous year.
More than two-thirds of the candidate was from Universal Primary Education schools, according to UNEB. The total of candidates that passed in Division One was 114,617 representing 14.1 per cent compared to 11 per cent in 2020.
In Division Two, there were 357,799 candidates, the biggest, while Division Three had 146,583 candidates. 95,702 pupils passed with Division Four and those who failed or were ungraded (Division U) were 97,109.
UNEB Executive Director, Dan Odong says that the Ungraded should not be admitted to Senior One, but should repeat as they will not be eligible to register for the Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) examination later.
Days before candidates wrote their PLE, there were reports that the exams had leaked but UNEB denied this allegation, though later there are teachers who were arraigned before court for distributing examination materials using their phones. The court process is going on.
According to Section 25 (2) of the Act, a person who intentionally or negligently aids or causes any candidate to receive or gain unlawful possession of examination material is subject to a fine of up to 2000 currency points (40 million Shillings) or 10 years in prison.
The Chairperson, Mary Okakol, called on the judicial system to give them the due punishment if found guilty. Unlike previous years where the board has been releasing numbers of students whose results have been withheld due to malpractice, this time round, the affected candidates will be given a fair hearing before final action is taken.
Okwakol also pointed out that there were challenges caused by the Ebola Outbreak, especially in the Mubende and Kassanda districts where the candidates found it hard to move to their examination centres.
She also pointed out the Kakumiro district incident where pupils missed the first exams after the school failed to provide them with transport to the centre. She says the special exam given to the candidate was not a precedent for future incidents.
A total of 17,253 (2.96%) UPE candidates were absent, while 3,687 (1.48 per cent) non-UPE candidates were also absent.
According to the results, Non-UPE candidates have, proportionally, performed better than the UPE candidates, and Odong attributes this difference to the commitment by teachers, the kind of preparation of the pupils and the involvement by parents in urban settings as opposed to those in rural areas.
Education Minister Janet Museveni expressed disappointment at the increase in the number of registered candidates who failed to turn up for the papers. In their statement of results, UNEB said they did not have the answer as to why the number had increased yet, from 12,819 in 2020 to 20,844 last year, representing 2 per cent of the total register.
The Minister directed the Board to find out what the cause was and seek solutions.