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UCE: Half of the candidates fail physics and chemistry

UNEB secretary Odongo. PHOTO @balamunzaki


Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Nearly half of the students who sat for the Uganda Certificate of Education- UCE exams failed Physics and Chemistry papers.

Results released this morning by the Uganda National Examinations Board indicate that at least 166,530, out of the 333,060 students who sat for the 2019 examinations,  scored F9 in both subjects.

According to the Uganda National Education Board-UNEB Executive Secretary Dan Odongo, although there has been an overall improved performance in a number of subjects, there is still a challenge in overall pass levels for science subjects.

Odongo points out that more students still find difficulty in handling the apparatus during practical tests as well as marking and recording observations among other challenges.

“Examiners have reported that the cause of these inadequacies lies in the fact teachers do not integrate the teaching of theory and practices,” said Odongo.

The UNEB chairperson Mary Okwakol also notes that they have observed that male students performed better than the females in Physics and Chemistry. According to the statistics, nearly 60 per cent of the female students were unable to get a pass 8 in Physics and Chemistry.

Okwakol notes that UNEB is proposing to have thorough investigations into the root cause of the problem and come up with solutions.

In 2004, the government introduced a policy that made all science subjects compulsory at Ordinary Level.

A year later, the government of Japan through Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) government introduced the SESEMAT programme with the purpose of improving the teaching the ability of science and mathematics teachers at secondary schools and to improve performance in those subjects.

However, performance in science subjects has remained poor.

The Minister of Education Janet Museveni blamed schools for only teaching theory and ignoring practical subjects.

Meanwhile, the general performance has improved with 92.2 per cent passing compared to 87.2 per cent in 2018. English language, history and commerce have also had a significant drop in performance.



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