Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) chairperson Prof Mary Okwakol has commenced the release of the Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) results, by stating their concern about the performance in Biology.
“Biology continues to be a cause of concern. In the last 4 years, less than 50% of the candidates obtained passes at principle level,” she said.
The overall results however indicate that there’s a better performance in 2019 than that of 2018. However, entry for science subjects are quite low.
A total of 103,429 candidates appeared for the UACE examination, compared to 98,254 in 2018. Of these, 43,625 female candidates registered compared to 41,296 in 2018. Females constituted 41.8% of the total number compared to 41.2 in 2018.
Data from UNEB shows that 38,737 candidates passed with 3 principals passes compared to 36,656 in 2018. A total of 103,429 candidates sat for last year’s examinations. 1,047 candidates did not sit for last year’s examinations.
At the minimum two principle level required for university admission, 65,723 candidates (63.6%) qualify.
Only 10% go for sciences
According to UNEB data, only 10 percent of the total number of candidature sat for Science related subjects. 30 percent sat for Mathematics, 10.9 percent did Physics while 16.2 percent sat for Chemistry.
The number of candidates who sat for Biology increased from 13.3 percent in 2018 to 14.0 percent in 2019. In 2018, the number of candidates who sat for the examinations were also low with 9.8 percent of the candidates sitting for Science related combinations.
Dan Odongo, the UNEB executive secretary says that few students continue to sit for science related courses at UNEB. “Mathematics, Chemistry and Biology are compulsory but the number of candidates registering for the subjects is low even if this year we saw an increase in the number of candidates. Only 20.8 registered for Mathematics and less than that in other subjects even,” said Odongo.
Last year, Biology was the worst performed subject.
“Few candidate numbers were recorded in Science related subjects but we noticed an improvement in the performance of Biology with 0.4 percent of the registered candidates scoring As compared to the situation last year when 1 candidate scored A,” noted Prof Okwakol.
In her remarks, Minister of Education and Sports Janet Museveni reiterated the concern about low number of students taking sciences.
“I am, concerned about the very low transition from UCE to UACE in the Sciences. I am even more concerned about the very low number of girls in the Sciences. Regrettably, this is happening despite the fact that Government, through the Ministry of Education and Sports, has invested heavily in provision of teaching and learning materials and laboratories,” she said.
She added that, “deliberate efforts have been made to increase the number of science teachers and improve their welfare in order to raise the numbers of students in Sciences and improve performance.”
According to UNEB, the performance of candidates in the 2019 examination cycles improved for the subjects of History, Christian Religious Education, Literature in English, Mathematics, Physics, Agriculture and Biology.
The subjects showed an increase in the number of distinctions by 5 percent compared to 2018. The female candidates passed better than their male counterparts in Mathematics, Physics and Agriculture. Male candidates performed better then girls in Chemistry, Biology, Art and General Paper.