A total of 5,022 primary schools registered no candidate with first grade in the just released Primary Leaving Examinations. According to an analysis of the results released by Uneb on Friday last week, the schools were a host to 190,050 pupils which is 32 per cent of the total number of candidates in the country.
These were part of the 582,085 candidates from 11,506 centres (schools) who registered with Uneb to do PLE in 2013.
This means almost half of the schools representing 43.6 per cent of the primary schools which registered with the examining body last year didn’t get a score in first grade, which has the country’s best performers.
The analysis further shows that of these, 457,071 schools were under Universal Primary Education and only 494,839 pupils passed the exams.
According to Uneb executive secretary Mathew Bukenya, candidates who appear between Divisions 1,2,3 and 4 are deemed to have passed and eligible to join any post-primary education.
There were 9.4 per cent candidates who scored Division One, Division Two had the highest number (44.2 per cent), 22.3 per cent appeared in Division Three while Division Four had 12.2 per cent.
At least 15.3 per cent of the candidates either failed or didn’t show up for the examinations after they had registered with Uneb.
The analysis shows that Kabale District had more schools (181) with no pupil in first grade, followed by Apac with 165 schools, Kasese (137), Yumbe (131), Iganga 126, Rakai (123) while Kibaale and Tororo tied at 116 and Luweero got 109.
Urban schools performed better than their counterparts in rural schools. For instance, Kampala’s Kabojja Junior PS and Masaka’s Bright Grammar PS had all their candidates in Division One.
Ms Jessica Alupo, minister of Education and Sports, attributed the good performance in urban schools to availability of facilities and less pupil and teacher absenteeism.
“Some schools are from hard to reach areas where teachers although government has posted them there, turn down the offer,” Ms Alupo said.
“In such schools, pupils learn with no qualified teachers. The government is committed to enhance teachers capacity to deliver quality teaching and learning by training teachers in early grade literacy and numeracy.”
She urged district officials where performance wasn’t impressive to increase their inspection activities for better results.