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2020 UCE results: Chemistry remains worst performed subject

Written by on August 1, 2021

The Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet K. Museveni has released the 2020 UCE National results today of the examinations sat for by candidates between March 1 and April 6, 2021.

These results come as a second set of examination results to be released in a space of a fortnight after the release of 2020 PLE results of 736,942 pupils.

The scientific event was held at the State House, Nakasero that was physically attended by dignitaries from the Ministry of Education and Sports and other honourable guests.

Presenting the examination results, the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) Executive Director, Dan N. Odongo, noted that there was an overall better performance compared to 2019.

“There was better performance overall, compared to 2019, with a total of 311,233 (4,309 more) candidates passing compared to 306,924 candidates who passed the examination in 2019,” Odongo said.

12.1% of the candidates passed in Division 1, 21.2% in Division 2, 24.7% in Division 3 and 36.4% in Division 4. A total of 18,415 candidates (5.6%) were ungraded.

Odongo revealed that there was a -1.3% decrease in candidate registration from 337,720 in 2019 to 333,396 where 44.4% of these were Universal Secondary Education (USE) beneficiaries.

There is however a difference of 92 more males than females in the number of candidates who registered for 2020 UCE examinations. 50.01% (166,744) were males whereas 49.99% (166,652) were females.

In 2020, 330,592 candidates (165,251 males and 165,341 females) appeared for the examination compared to 333,060 candidates who appeared for the examination in 2019.

This is a decrease of 3,468 (-0.7%) candidates. The number of females who sat was more than that of males by 90 candidates. Absenteeism of candidates has continued to drop with 0.8% absenteeism of candidates in 2020.

A total of 519 Special Needs Education (SNE) candidates (48.5% males and 51.5% females) registered for the 2020 UCE examination compared to 358 in 2019.

Ofongo further noted that there is an overall improvement in performance in the large entry subjects except in Geography, Chemistry and Biology, although Biology showed a slight improvement at the Distinction 2 level.

“Worth noting with concern is the overall pass levels for Science subjects where nearly half of the candidates have not achieved the minimum Pass 8 level. Chemistry remains the worst done subject,” Odongo revealed.

Also, female candidates performed better than males in English language. However, in other large entry subjects, male candidates show better performance, with the differences more marked in Mathematics and the Sciences.

According to Odongo, this trend in the disparity between the performance of male and female candidates has been observed over the years.

He also commended the outstanding performance of inmates at Luzira Prisons where none of whom failed. “The centre registered 45 candidates and all sat. 4 obtained Division 1, 8 passed in Division 2, 15 got Division 3 and 18 passed in Division 4,” he noted.

Reacting to the decline in the number of candidates who registered for UCE in 2020 compared with 2019, Minister Janet Museveni attributed this reduction largely to COVID-19.

“For instance, when Secondary Schools were assessed for readiness of compliance with the COVID-19 SOPs, only 94% of them met the requirements. Therefore, there were 6% of Secondary Schools deemed not safe for learners,” the Minister explained.

Odongo noted with significance that there has been a reduction in the cases of malpractice which he attributed to the measures put in place to curtail the vice.

“A total of 1,292 results will be withheld in accordance with Section 5(2) (b) of the UNEB Act No 1 of 2021. This number was 1,825 in 2019. The affected candidates will be given a fair hearing,” he noted.

He added that Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics have been most affected with external assistance, collusion among candidates, impersonation and script substitution as the common cases.

Examination centres from which results are withheld however, will be notified through their portals.

On accessing results and collection of result slips, Odongo said that Heads of UCE examination Centres can download the results from their portals as they are released.

Nonetheless, no hard copy results lists will be issued from UNEB offices until conditions are more favourable and examination centres will be accorded notification.

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