At least 67,000 UACE candidates qualify to join university

At least 67,000 UACE candidates qualify to join university
UNEB chairperson Prof. Mary Okwakol (middle) presenting the UACE 2022 results to State Minister of Education J.C Muyingo. Right is PS Eduction Ketty Lamaro and Dan Odongo of UNEB (left).

Kampala, Uganda | URN | At least 67,815 out of 97,890 candidates who sat the 2022 Uganda Advanced Certificate of Examinations (UACE) have qualified to join a university this year.

Speaking on Friday 3, March 2023 at the office of the Prime Minister in Kampala, Dan Odongo, the UNEB Executive Secretary said those who obtained two principal passes, that are needed to join the university are slightly higher in percentage terms but in terms of numbers are slightly lower than those of 2020.

In 2020, 68,013 representing 69.8 percent of the candidates qualified to join the university. Odongo attributed this to a drop in the candidates who registered for exams in 2022.

According to the results, a total of 97,890 candidates registered for the 2022 UACE from 1,969 centres compared to 98,392 candidates from 1,952 centres in 2020. However generally, 99.2 percent of the candidates who sat in 2022 qualified for the award of the UACE.

“The percentage passes at the upper levels (3P and 2P) are higher, while percentage passes and at the lower levels and failure rate among female candidates are lower than for the males,” Odongo said.

The results also indicate that at the principal pass level, there are improvements in performance in subjects such as; History, Economics, Entrepreneurship Education, Geography and Art. The results also indicate that Mathematics and Chemistry recorded significant improvements at A pass level while Physics had a drop at A but remained comparable at other levels.

Last year’s results also indicate that there was an increase in the number of candidates registering for Mathematics and other Science subjects except for Physics compared to 2020 although the number of girls registering for these subjects remained low. The results also show that despite fewer candidates registering for science subjects, their performance is still very poor.

“In sciences, evidence of theoretical teaching with little practical experience given to the candidates was observed at many centres. As a result, candidates who performed poorly showed the inability to follow instructions and procedures during the practical examinations and failed to accurately record data or even make meaning of any of the data recorded. They had difficulty in writing the language of Chemistry using the correct chemical symbols and balanced equations,” Odongo said.

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He also said that whereas the skill of dissection is essential in Biology, some candidates did not carry out this task on the specimens provided as required by the questions but presented textbook drawings. This he said may indicate the teachers in the schools where this happened may not have exposed the candidates to this skill that they will need should they, in future, have an opportunity to pursue Biological science-based courses.

He added that for many candidates who scored lower grades, their performance was undermined by a misunderstanding of questions, and an inability to describe, explain, interpret, and offer logical arguments or illustrations and specific examples to qualify their answers.

On the cases of examination malpractice, Odongo noted that these continue to be very low at UACE with noted cases of mainly external assistance in Mathematics, Biology and Computer studies.

The results of only 113 candidates have been withheld for having been suspected of engaging in malpractices.

Prof. Mary Okwakol, the UNEB Chairperson said they are still bothered to see fewer girls offering science combinations. She added that although the Ministry of Education had directed to carry out a study to investigate the reasons for this, they have yet to get the funds to implement it.