2016 UACE Results: Girls Outperform Boys

Minister of Education Janet Museveni receiving UCE results from UNEB Chairperson Prof. Mary Okwakol weeks ago

Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) had Tuesday released the 2016 Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) results indicating an improvement in performance compared to the previous year. The results also show a shift in trend with girls attaining better grades at all levels than boys which hasn’t been the case previously.

A total of 104, about it 243 candidates registered for UACE examinations in 2016 an increase of 2.9% from the number that registered in 2015. However only 102, 858 finally sat for the examinations implying that 1,385 did not sit for the papers. Nevertheless, the UACE candidature increased by 3% in 2016 in comparison to the previous year.

According to UNEB, the rate of absenteeism fluctuated last year to 1.33% from 1.4% in 2015.

Fewer female candidates (442) were absent compared to 1,015 males who did not turn up for examinations.

Overall, the 2016 performance pointed to an improvement. A total of 39,797 candidates (38.7%) got 3 principal passes compared to 29.8% in 2015. Those who attained 2 Principal Passes were 27,831 (27.1%) slighly more than the 26.9% in 2015.

At the minimum 2 Principal Passes required for university admission, 67,628 candidates representing 65.8% qualify while in cases where 1 Principal and 2 subsidiaries are considered for other tertiary institutions, 88,659 candidates (86.2%) qualify.

Failure rate at UACE has also declined from 2.2% in 2015 to 1.3% in 2016. Of these, female candidates were fewer (1%) than boys (1.6%).

Girls beat boys in all large entry subjects except General Paper, Biology, Chemistry, Art and Subsidiary ICT. Biology registered the poorest grades in general with only 40.8% obtaining at least an E principal level pass.

Whereas science subjects are compulsory at Ordinary Level, UNEB has observed that very few students consider to carry on with sciences at Advanced Level. The 2016 UACE results indicate that only 26.4% of the candidates offered Maths, 12.5% had Physics, 16.2%and  had Biology.

The examinations body fears that the low interest in sciences could affect the country’s development as well as the much needed science teachers in the school system.

In its observations, UNEB still maintains that English language deficiency is affecting the interpretation of questions even in science subjects.

“Even at this level where candidates opt for subjects of their choice, quite a number of zero scores were recorded in almost all subjects,” said Dan Nokrach Odongo the UNEB Executive Secretary in his remarks.

He said that UNEB examiners’ reports indicate that teachers tend to hurry through the A’Level syllabus so as to complete bit by term one in Senior Six.

Education Minister Janet Museveni who presided over at the official release of the results raised concern over the gap between students who sit for UCE and those that sit UACE.

“The transition from UCE to UACE is unacceptably low. I am aware of the availability of other pathways after UCE but my Ministry will make every effort to find out this accounts for the big difference,” Minister Janet Museveni said.

In 2014, a total of 250,000 students sat UCE examinations but out of those, only 104,000 sat for UACE examinations leaving a difference of 146,000 students.

Meanwhile, results of 64 candidates (0.06% of the total that sat) have been withheld by UNEB due to examination malpractice.

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