Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Nearly half of the candidates who sat for the 2020 Uganda Certificate of Education- UCE examinations could not attain a minimum pass eight in science subjects.
The Uganda National Examination Board Executive Secretary Dan Odongo, notes that although there is an overall improvement in performance, science subjects remain a challenge for many candidates with chemistry being the worst done subject.
Despite the poor performance in sciences, UNEB’s report says there has been a slight improvement at the Distinction 2 level in Biology. Although Odongo did not give an exact figure of candidates who failed the said subjects, a rough estimate points to about 165,296.
Odongo says that an analysis of the examination results showed weaknesses in the handling of apparatus during the practical tests.
The weaknesses were also shown in making and recording observations and drawing conclusions from those observations, tabulation of experimental results and interpretation of the results to meet the demands of the question.
He adds that many students also showed poor mathematical skills required in calculations, inability to write the correct symbols of elements, formulae of compounds and equations, among others.
Dr Kedrace Turyagenda, a UNEB board member who represented the chairperson of the board, Prof Mary Okwakol says most of the candidates posting poor performance in science subjects are girls. She adds that the board has now interested itself in finding out the root cause of the problem so that a solution can be found.
The constant poor performance posted by candidates in subjects is raising eyebrows at the education ministry given the huge investment in the area since 2004 when the government introduced a policy that made all science subjects compulsory at the Ordinary level.
Minister of Education Janet Kataha Museveni says UNEB has done a good job by providing data that gives the ministry a general idea that there is a problem. She immediately tasked the permanent secretary to give special attention to providing credible answers to these perennial problems.