Gulu, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Education authorities in Gulu have expressed concern about the reduction in the number of candidates sitting for the Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education – UACE.
Only 889 students registered for the exams compared to over 1,200 candidates in the previous 2019 and previous years.
Churchill Lacere, the Head-teacher Trinity College, a privately aided school says that at their centre only 11 candidates are sitting the national exams. He observed that many students now prefer to branch off to undertake soft skills courses without any aims to further complete A level education.
Irene Mwaka, the Head-teacher of Gulu Senior Secondary School says they registered up to 115 candidates between October and November 2020 and 15 did not turn up either because of school fees challenges or they transferred to other schools, though the gaps were filled with 14 new admissions.
Tibert Amaru, the Director of Studies at Bishop Angelo Negri College says all of their 58 registered candidates turned up for the exams, a slight increment by four students compared to 54 who sat in the previous year 2019.
Walter Nyeko Otti, the Gulu City Area Chief Invigilator says that the reduction could cause the closure of some UACE exam centres in the subsequent years should the situation continue. He noted of the 19 centres that hosted UACE exams in 2019, only 18 are active.
Uganda National Examination Board – UNEB policy requires that for all government or privately aided institutions to operate actively, they must have at least 10 candidates and above and any number below that, the school should seek the services of neighboring centres with the recommended number.
URN has also established that other traditional schools like Gulu Central High School that previously enroll hundreds of UACE candidates have this year registered only 120 candidates who turned up for the exams. Gulu High School and Sacred Heart Secondary School alike have registered a decline of 15 and 39 candidates respectively.
Statistics available from UNEB indicates a total of 98,393 candidates enrolled for the UACE exams across 2,339 examination centres in the country.
On Monday, UNEB Publicist Jennifer Kalule Musamba revealed the exams body is considering investigating the causes of the increasing decline in the number of candidates.