What you need to know:
- Education minister Janet Museveni, whose speech was read by her junior, Mr Muyingo, pointed at poor teaching methods as the root cause of poor performance
- Uneb reported a drop in the performance in Biology, which they said was below the 2020 improvement.
The State minister for Higher Education, Mr John Chrysostom Muyingo, yesterday revealed that the government is going to probe the perennial poor performance of students who sat for the Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) in science subjects.
This followed a Uneb report on poor performance by candidates in science subjects, especially Biology.
Uneb reported a drop in the performance in Biology, which they said was below the 2020 improvement. According to the results, only 0.1 percent of learners scored A in Biology. A total of 67.4 scored A to O, hence 32.6 percent failed.
“Examiners have attributed this to candidates having problems in questions on Genetics, Ecology and applications of biological concepts to the environment, classification and inability to deal with simple mathematical computations in Biology,” Mr Odongo said.
This publication, based on an analysis of UACE results for the past 10 years, yesterday indicated that half of the science students failed to obtain two principal passes, the threshold for university admission, despite the government pivoting two decades ago to promote the subjects.
Our analysis further detailed how officials of the Ministry of Education and their counterparts at Uneb have year-on-year recycled similar reasons as explanations for the less-than-satisfactory performance in sciences.
It was a similar script yesterday at the release of the UACE results for 2022 candidates, Mr Muyingo said the government would commission special investigations into the anomaly. He gave no timelines on when the investigations will commence, who will lead it, and why it hadn’t been done earlier.
Uneb Executive Director Daniel Odongo said whereas the skill of dissection is essential in Biology, some candidates did not carry out the task on the specimens provided as required by the questions.
“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,’’ Mr Odongo said.
Education minister Janet Museveni, whose speech was read by her junior, Mr Muyingo, pointed at poor teaching methods as the root cause of poor performance.
“While the National Curriculum Development Centre looks at the curriculum, I wish to encourage teachers to look into those areas that have been mentioned even before today. Why do candidates score poorly in these topics, which are important? Could it be that there are deficiencies in the teachers themselves? I ask that the SESEMAT in-service training for Biology teachers should focus on these areas,” Ms Museveni said in her speech.