Sciences worst done subjects
Posted Friday, February 8 2013 at 02:00
Poor performance was registered in Mathematics and practical papers of Chemistry and Biology. English language was also poorly done.
Science subjects remain the Achilles’ heel of Uganda’s education even as more efforts are put into promotion of the academic field. Results for the 2012 Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) examination released yesterday indicate that sciences continued to be poorly performed compared to the arts.
According to the results released by the Education Minister, Ms Jessica Alupo, poor performance was registered in Mathematics and practical papers of Chemistry and Biology.
The government last year announced that starting this academic year, students in A-Level were to offer either Computer Studies for those offering science combinations or Subsidiary Math for those offering Arts combinations.
Uneb Executive Secretary Mathew Bukenya said the poor performance was mainly due to ill-equipped laboratories and lack of time given to students to have practice before the exams.
While many private schools have no laboratories, some have laboratories without the necessary equipment. The government schools that have both laboratories and equipment were found not to have utilised them properly. As a result, many students met the scientific experiments for the first time in the examination. “…although most schools (especially USE schools) have adequate laboratory chemicals and apparatus, the laboratories are more of stores than rooms for science practical work,” Mr Bukenya said. He added: “The non-use of these facilities results in lack of practice by the candidates.”
English language, where students had difficulties in understanding the meaning of key words in questions, was also done poorly. Mr Bukenya also noted that the students who failed Math lacked ability to construct graphs, solving simultaneous equations, solving vectors, computation of compound interest, among others.
Ms Alupo said: “The percentage of students failing science is unacceptably high and schools must address the causes of this, particularly the use of supplied/teaching equipment.”
Other noticeable declines were also evident in Literature in English, Christian Religious Education, Islamic Religious Education and Agriculture.
The ministry said the number of absentees went down to 2.2 per cent from 2.4 that was registered in 2011. 5,903 registered candidates failed to appear for the October- November 2012 exams. In 2011, 6,339 registered candidates did not turn up for the examinations and were registered as absent, a significant increase from 4,848 in 2010.
Special Needs Education candidates registered for last year’s examinations were the blind (38) whose best candidate scored Aggregate 22; deaf candidates (49) and the best here scored Aggregate 29.
There were 12 dyslexic candidates with the best scoring Aggregate 42 which is Division 2. The examinations were also sat by 31 severely handicapped students and the best scored Aggregate 16 (Division 1).