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PLE SPECIAL: Summary of results, comparisons, top subjects

Students sit PLE 2019. There was an improvement in English and Social Studies. PHOTO @Educ_SportsUg

PLE Results:Pupils Score More Distinctions in English, SST

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Candidates in the 2019 Primary Leaving Examination managed more distinctions in English and Social Studies compared to science and mathematics, results released today have shown.

More candidates, than 2018, will be going to the next level of education, thanks to improvement in performance. Some 617,150 candidates passed the PLE compared to 599,593 the previous year.

The Uganda National Examinations Board-UNEB shows that a total of 695,804 candidates from 13,475 centres (schools) registered for PLE in 2019. Of this number, 473,893 (68.2 per cent) were Universal Primary Education (UPE) beneficiaries, and 221,912 (31.8 per cent) of the candidates were Non-UPE.

The UNEB Secretary General Dan Odongo said at least 7.6 per cent of the pupils managed either a distinction 1 or 2 in English while 14 per cent managed the same in SST. For Mathematics and Science, while the general performance improved, fewer learners managed a distinction at that level.

Odongo said that “Overall pass level rose in Science although performance at the distinction level dropped sharply.”



2019 2018
2 6 8 2 6 8
ENGLISH 683,433 7.6 59.5 84.0 651,590 6.3 62.7 87.7
SST 683,400 14.0 78.9 93.1 657,589 12.1 80.4 95.5
SCIENCE 683,494 4.9 69.6 90.0 657,601 13.4 64.5 92.3
MATHS 683,496 6.0 48.3 84.9 657,565 6.2 41.7 77.0

Just like last year, Odongo noted that in both English and Mathematics performance was poor in questions where candidates were required to apply knowledge in problem-solving situations or express themselves freely. Candidates were more comfortable with questions that are direct and based on recall.

“This situation has persisted over the years,” he said. This is an indicator that most schools are drilling their pupils to cram than understand for them to be able to answer questions that require more thinking.

On the overall, the candidates got basics like handwriting.  Also, candidates also organized and presented their work more clearly even when the answers are wrong.

Minister Janet Museveni receives results from UNEB

UNEB Withholds Results for 1,512 PLE Candidates

UNEB has withheld results for 1,512 candidates in the Primary Leaving Examinations results which were released this morning. Most of these were cases of external assistance offered to the learners from within the examination room, according to UNEB executive secretary Dan Odongo.

Odongo noted that over 60 suspects were arrested during the examination for abetting malpractices. Some were distributing fake papers, while others were teaching candidates at the eve examination.

UNEB Chairperson Prof. Mary Okwakol says that the cases of examination malpractice in school were supported by headteachers. “In some schools, scouts were even bribed to allow teachers to give candidates assistance,” Okwakol said.

She singles out an incident at a school in Mpigi District where administrators tried to corrupt the scout with 500,000 Shillings so that they are allowed to assist candidates during examinations. She however, notes that the scout was able to report the matter to UNEB and handed over the exhibit.

Candidates’ overall Performance by Divisional Grades

DIV 2019 2018
1 69,243 69,243 10.1 77,133 77,133 11.8
2 318,155 387,398 56.7 272,861 349,994 53.4
3 140,420 527,818 77.3 142,201 492,195 75.1
4 89,332 617,150 90.4 107,398 599,593 91.4
U 66,152 66,152 9.6 56,105 56,105 8.6
TOTAL   683,302     655,698  
MALE 39,182 159,923 60,244 43,868 26,976
  11.9% 48.4% 18.2% 13.3% 8.2%
FEMALE 30,061 158,232 80,176 45,464 39,176
  8.5% 44.6% 22.6% 12.3% 11.0%

According to UNEB, the schools whose results have been withheld will be notified by district inspectors of schools and all candidates whose results have been withheld will be accorded a hearing by the UNEB examinations security committee.

Last year, the examination board withheld 3,346 results.

Also, as an indicator of general improvement, there were fewer candidates scoring zero compared to previous years.

PLE 2019: UPE Candidates Drop as Non-UPE Show Steady Growth

The number of pupils registering under the Universal Primary Education (UPE) programme dropped in the 2019 Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE). This is so even as the number of candidates sitting for PLE increased by 3.6 per cent.

According to the results, pupils under UPE fell from 476,130 registered in 2018 to 473, 893 in 2019 – indicating a drop of more than 2,000 pupils. Overall, 695,804 registered for 2019 PLE.

UPE is government’s programme intended to help children of the low-income households achieve free education.

Year Total Registered Total Sat Absentees % of Absentees
2019 695,804 683,302 12,502 1.8%
2018 671,923 659,633 12,293 1.8%
2017 646,190 631,282 14,907 2.3%
2016 640,833 623,540 17,427 2.7%
2015 621,401 620,482 19,614 3.2%

The Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) officials were silent on the cause of the drop. The possible explanation could be that more parents are choosing to take their pupils to private schools where it is assumed that they will pass well than in UPE schools.

Indeed, UNEB figures show a steady growth of pupils registering in private schools, with this category adding more than 26,000 pupils compared to what they had in 2018. Also, in the last five years, pupils preferring private schools to public schools have grown tremendously with the number jumping from 142,816 in 2015 to 221,912 in 2019.

Another possible explanation for the drop is that UNEB and Ministry of Education last year came out strongly to stop UPE schools from registering pupils from private schools as theirs.

UNEB went on to warn that each school which will be found practising the illegality will be requested to refund the money that the government could have lost while paying for registration of the candidates.

UNEB Executive Secretary Dan Odongo said then that the examination body together with the Office of the President had carried out a survey in 26 districts and four municipalities and found out that there were over 10,000 pupils from private schools but registered as UPE.

President Museveni last year spoke at Nabbingo, noting that he was aware there were ghost UPE pupils and government would work to arrest officials engaged in such fraud.



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