UNEB records improved PLE performance in 2019

UNEB registered improved performance in last year’s Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) according to results released on Friday at Kampala Parents School.

Although the number of candidates who passed in division one in 2019 reduced by 1.7 per cent compared to 2018, overall performance especially in the upper divisions of two and three improved according to Uneb.

Some 617,150 candidates passed PLE in 2019 from a total of 695,804 registered candidates from 13,475 centres and are eligible for admission in post-primary institutions. In comparison, 599,593 passed PLE in 2018.

Social Studies with Religious Education still remained the best-done subject – with 14 per cent candidates passing at distinction level. In English, 7.6 per cent of the candidates passed with a distinction while Mathematics and Science registered a decline at distinction level – with 6 per cent and 4.9 per cent candidates having got distinctions down from 6.2 per cent and 13.4 per cent respectively.

“The examiners noted that the poor performance in English and Mathematics was shown by the candidates in those questions that required them to exhibit problem-solving abilities a situation which has persisted over the years,” Uneb executive secretary Dan Odongo said.

The minister of Education and Sports Janet Museveni said that the performance of candidates in English and Social Studies at distinction levels means that more learners are able to demonstrate higher competency levels in these subjects.

“I have noticed a drop in performance of Science at distinction level which has been caused by teachers teaching theoretically and not practically. The decline in performance is most likely a result of the failure by candidates to answer those questions that require some practical experience, and as I have said before, teachers must refocus their teaching to enable learners to be able to apply knowledge to their environment and other real-life situations,” Ms Museveni said.


For the last five years, the number of girls who sit for PLE has been higher than that of the boys, and it was no different in 2019 when 359,764 (51.7 per cent) girls registered for the exams against 336,040 (48.5 per cent) boys.

But even though the number of girls who sit for the exams has been increasing over the years, boys’ performance is still better than the girls’ and it wasn’t different this year. The boys did better than the girls in divisions one, two and four, and the number of ungraded was higher for girls at 11 per cent compared to 8.2 per cent of the boys.

A much better performance was recorded by the boys; with 39,182 of them in division one and 215,923 of the boys in division two compared to their female counterparts who registered 30,061 division ones and 158,232 division twos respectively. It is a similar trend as last year, where there was better performance overall by the boys compared to the girls.

According to Odongo, it has been observed over a period of five years that continued sensitisation about the need to educate the girl child has yielded increased registration of girls for PLE. Odongo also promised to liaise with schools to give feedback on the general performance of all the students in order to give accountability to the schools. This, according to Odongo, would help both parties come up with strategies to improve the performance.

Prisoners, candidates with special needs

The board registered 1,315 learners with special needs of various categories such as the deaf, blind, physically handicapped and dyslexics of which 40.3 per cent were females while 50.7 per cent were male candidates.

The best blind candidate is Arthur Ainamani Rwakitara from Grand Maison primary school Nabbingo with 9 aggregates, the best dyslexic candidates were Ahurira Rhina from Bwaise Parents school and Gael Parwot Gadi from Victorious primary school who both got 9 aggregates while the best deaf candidate was Peace Sharon from Ojipaku primary school who scored 13 aggregates.

62 candidates registered for exams at Uganda Government Upper Prison School but only 56 sat for the exams; with 31 obtaining division two, 19 passing in division three, 4 got division four while two were ungraded. No single prison candidate managed to score division one.

“Six prisoners did not sit for their PLE exams because, by the time the exams were done, they had been released from prison,” said Odongo.

Ms Museveni announced that the selection and placement exercise for senior one students will take place between January 23 and 24 at UMA multi-purpose hall Lugogo. She thanked Uneb for consistently delivering the results on time despite an increased volume of work as a result of increased candidature.

“Ministry of Education and Sports and other stakeholders are therefore able to use these results for admissions, for placements and other legitimate purposes early enough,” Museveni saidJanet-Museveni.v1


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