The Uganda National Examinations Board – UNEB – has Friday released results of the Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education – UACE.
Between November and December 2022, a total of 97,890 candidates registered for the 2022 UACE examination from 1,969 centres compared to 98,392 candidates from 1,952 centres in 2020. This is a decrease of 502 candidates (-0.5%).
Candidates who appeared for the examination were 96,557, compared to 97,443 in 2020, a decrease of 878 candidates (-0.9%). The number of candidates registered under the UPOLET programme was 17,321 (17.7%) of total candidature compared to 17,647 (17.9%) in 2020 Forty thousand, seven hundred thirteen (40,713) female candidates registered for UACE in 2022 compared to 41,190 in 2020. Females constituted 41.8% of the total number of candidates who took the examination in 2022. While at UCE the proportion of females is very close to that of males (49.7:50.3), it is significantly lower at this level (41.8:58.2).
An analysis of the overall candidates’ performance in the examination shows that a very high percentage of candidates (99.2%) qualified for the award of the UACE, just as was in 2020.
At the minimum two Principal level required for University admission, 67,815 (70.3%) qualify compared to 69.8% in 2020. In terms of numbers, this is slightly less than that of 2020, which was 68,013 candidates (69.8%), but this is consistent with the fact that there was a slight drop in entries for the examination in 2022. In cases where one Principal and two Subsidiary passes levels are considered for admission to other tertiary institutions, 89.3% of the candidates will qualify. This is comparable to 2020.
According to UNEB Executive Director, Dan Odongo, some zero scores were recorded in many papers.
“One of those candidates decided to just copy out questions several times in one of the papers, while another wrote “Dear Mr Examiner. You are still wasting time on me when there are more serious candidates?”. After writing “Now listen to my story” he wrote a short poem starting with “I am the stone the builder refused….”. He then listed names of some famous musicians and their songs. Apart from scoring zero, this performance could indicate an underlying problem,” Odongo revealed.
According to Odongo, the artistes included Celine Deon and Maria Carey among others, and their songs.
In terms of percentages, Odongo said that female candidates performed better than their male counterparts at the principal level pass (A-E) in Arts (Humanities), Mathematics and Physics. Male candidates were better in Agriculture, Chemistry, Biology, Art, and General Paper.
Candidate who recorded Zero scores named artistes and their songs
“Female entries for the Sciences and Mathematics have remained lower than that of the males, consistent with the fact that overall female entry is lower than that of the males. Candidature was 29.6% for Mathematics, 6.1% for Physics, 16.5% for Chemistry; and 15.9% for Biology. It should be noted that these percentages were lower (except for Physics) in the 2020 examination, and before. In other words, female entries for Mathematics and the Sciences are gradually increasing.”
In sciences, evidence of theoretical teaching with little practical experience given to the candidates was observed at many centres. As a result, candidates who performed poorly showed inability to follow instructions and procedures during the practical examinations, failure to accurately record data or even make meaning of any of the data recorded. They had difficulty in writing the language of Chemistry using the correct chemical symbols and balanced equations. Whereas the skill of dissection is essential in Biology, some candidates did not carry out this task on the specimens provided as required by the questions but presented text book drawings. This may indicate the teachers in the schools where this happened may not have exposed the candidates to this skill that they will need should they, in future, have an opportunity to pursue Biological science-based courses.
Odongo says that a detailed analysis indicating the salient areas of improvement as well as areas of weakness will be sent to centres in the Report on the Work of Candidates.
“Advice to teachers on how to address areas of difficulty will be given. Electronic versions of these reports will be sent through the school portals. Members of the public who may be interested will be able to purchase copies from the UNEB Publications Sales point at Communications House in Kampala.”
Odongo said that cases of malpractice at UACE have remained low.
He added: “The reported ones have been mainly external assistance in Mathematics, Biology and Computer studies. In accordance with Section 4 (3) of the UNEB Act, 2021, the Board, has withheld results of 113 candidates, and will accord the affected candidates a fair hearing before passing a final verdict.”