More than 60,000 candidates in Universal Primary Education (UPE) schools failed the 2020 Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE).
The results released on Friday indicate that a total of 74,878 candidates totally failed the examination and therefore were not graded. This represents 10.2 percent of the total number of candidates who sat for the examination in March this year.
This failure rate is higher compared to that of 2019 Where 66,152 candidates were ungraded and therefore couldn’t legitimately join any post-primary institution.
According to data from the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB), 86 percent of the persons who failed the exams were from UPE schools accounting for 64,487 candidates.
This is in comparison to 14 percent in non-UPE schools or private schools which is 10,391 candidates.
Robert Kulabako, the Chairperson of the Luwero Schools Association says that the high cases of candidates who failed in UPE schools are partly due to prolonged COVID 19 lockdown.
Kulabako explains that several candidates never finished the syllabus while others returned from lockdown but with low interest in studies.
Kulabako adds that the Ministry of Education assumed that learners were learning on radios and TVs but many had no access.
Disappointed with the performance of UPE schools, the Minister of Education and Sports, Janet Museveni, says despite all the billions that the government has sunk into UPE schools, their performance had continuously remained poor.
Mrs Museveni attributed this to among other factors poor participation of parents in the education of their children. She says parents in urban areas are more involved in the learning process of their children, something that leads to good grades.
She however notes that the first target of UPE was ensuring that all children achieve numeracy and literacy which has been achieved and the next move is to strive for quality education that will see performance improvement.
Meanwhile, statistics show that schools in the eastern region of the country for another year had the highest number of candidates who failed with the most affected district being Namisindwa were 27.9 percent 1343(candidates) of the registered students being ungraded.
Other districts that recorded the highest failure rate include Kween (24.6 percent), Kapchorwa (23.6 percent), Bugiri (21.6 percent) Buyende (21 percent) Mayuge (22.4 percent) palisa (21.2 percent) and Sironko among others.
Generally, more candidates, have qualified to join the post-primary institutions than the previous years. 659,910 candidates passed the PLE compared to 617,150 the previous year.