Posts tagged as: examinations

Govt Clears Ubteb to Assess Post-O’level Certificate Programmes

By Yudaya Nangonzi

The ministry of Education and Sports has agreed with the solicitor general that all students pursuing post-O’level certificate programmes be assessed nationally by the Uganda Business and Technical Examinations Board (Ubteb).

This follows series of meetings held on the role of National Council for Higher Education and Ubteb regarding accreditation and assessment of ordinary certificate programs and institutions.

Speaking during the release of May/June 2017 Ubteb examination results in Kampala today, Ubteb executive secretary Onesmus Oyesigye said it was further agreed that S4 leavers pursuing certificate programmes must be taught for two years, instead of one.

“We discovered in these meetings that some institutions were operating outside the stipulated legal frame work and must stop henceforth,” Oyesigye said. “We expect all institutions effective January next year’s intake to take heed of these new resolutions.”

Oyesigye said there are about 200 private tertiary institutions that continue to subject candidates to internal final exams and assessment. He said these will be dealt with accordingly, including rejecting their qualifications.

Currently, there are 472 accredited examination centres, up from 184 in 2011.

This year, Ubteb conducted its 10th series of final examinations from May 12 to June 16 in 93 accredited examination centers across the country.

Out of the 6,730 candidates that registered for the examinations, 2,284 were examined in technical diploma programmes, 2,343 in business diploma, 1,241 in business certificate programmes, 793 in physical and biological sciences diploma and 69 in physical and biological sciences certificate programmes.

Oyesigye explained that of the 6,730 candidates, at least 324 did not turn up for the examinations after obtaining some competences and proceeding to the labour market without any qualifications.

“This absenteeism is not what we are advocating for, but it portrays one of the characteristics of self-paced and individualized flexible training in tertiary institutions that enabled students join the world of work very fast,” he said.

GOOD PERFORMANCE

The Ubteb results released today by the education minister, Janet Museveni, indicate that, overall, the board registered an improvement in competence acquisition of candidates from 71 per cent in May/June 2016 exams to 71.4 per cent this year.

According to the results, of the 6,406 candidates who turned up for the examinations, 4,572 (71.4 per cent) expressly acquired full competencies while 1,834 (28.6 per cent) did not satisfy the board, but will be allowed to improve on various areas of weaknesses before being churned out.

The general performance gap between female and male candidates has also continued to narrow over the years, implying that the performance of female students is continually improving.

In this year’s results, females performed better in technical diploma programmes while males out-competed them in business, physical and biological science programmes.

While the board says it conducted leakage-free examinations, there were 34 cases of exam malpractice involving 37 candidates from 10 centres.

Oyesigye said pleas from the affected candidates were heard and has recommended cancellation of results for 32 candidates.

In her remarks, Janet Museveni commended the board for tirelessly ensuring a credible assessment system that enables young people to join the world of work with the required knowledge, skills and attitude.

She tasked the board to take all the necessary actions against candidates involved in examination malpractice.

“As I have said here before, the ministry will not tolerate any form of examination malpractice and will continue to work with Ubteb and all the other examination boards to stamp out such vices,” Ms Museveni said.

Meanwhile, overall, the board also noted an increase in the number of candidates pursuing science programmes in technical, physical and biological disciplines at the expense of arts-related business programmes.

Oyesigye attributed the uptake partly to advocacy of promoting science education in schools, reiterating that this trend must continue in order to fill the skills gaps in the economy.

No Exam Leak, KNEC Says

By Ouma Wanzala

Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) has assured candidates and parents that this year’s national examinations are safe and have not been leaked.

“The council wishes to assure the public that the systems that were used in last year’s examinations are still intact and that all papers are safe and secured,” said Knec Chairman Prof George Magoha.

Prof Magoha warned stakeholders that claims of question papers circulating have been common in past years and asked Kenyans to ignore them.

The remarks by the council chairman followed the arrest of a student at Kitondo Boys’ High School in Makueni County on allegations of being in possession of suspected Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination papers.

Prof Magoha said the materials had been reviewed and were found to be fake.

“The documents in question has no resemblance whatsoever – and are not even remotely related to – the forthcoming national examinations,” said Prof Magoha.

On Monday, Prof Magoha had said last year 600 cases of fake papers were reported before the examinations started.

Kenya

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1,300 PLE Candidates Fail Mock Examinations

By Bill Oketch

Amolotar — At least 1,387 out of 2,493 Primary Seven candidates in Amolatar District, who are now preparing for Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) due in November have failed mock examinations.

According to the results released by the district education officer, Mr Nelson Ecam, last week, only 80 out of 2,508 candidates who sat the mock examinations passed in Division One.

At least 245 candidates passed in Division Two, 426 passed in Division Three while 355 candidates passed in Division Four.

Mr Ecam said while the results were not satisfactory, they represent an improvement in the performance of candidates compared to 2015 and 2016.

In 2015, 68 pupils passed in Division One in mock examinations while in 2016, it was only 46 made it.

Head teachers from both private and government-aided primary schools across the district attend the event

Mr Ecam advised teachers to avoid administering ready made examinations.

“Buying ready-made examinations from Kampala to test our children is wrong. We cannot allow people who do not teach our learners to assess their performance. Ready-made examinations are making teachers lazy,” said Mr Ecam.

This year, the mock examinations were set by the teachers in Amolatar and vetted by Uganda National Examinations Board trained and certified examiners with the district before they were administered to the candidates, the district information officer, Mr Joel Okao Tema, revealed.

“The marking was done centrally at Amolatar Primary School,” he said, adding that the district education office has set a target to at least 300 candidates passing in Division One in this year’s Primary Leaving Examinations.

In the 2016 PLE examination results, 77 candidates in the district passed in Division One.

The best performing primary schools in the recent mock examinations are Green Valley, Amolatar, Aputi, Abarler and Acengryeng primary schools.

Worst performing schools include Aburkidi, Awonangiro, Bangladesh, Kitaleba and Alyecmeda.

Uganda

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Over 70,000 Candidates Registered to Sit ‘A’ Level Exams

By Jimmy Lwangili

74,963 candidates registered to sit for the National Form Six Examinations are expected to sweat it out across the country, beginning this morning. National Council for Technical Education (NACTE) Executive Secretary Charles Msonde disclosed in Dar es Salaam yesterday that 63,102 of the candidates are in formal schools– 38,618 of them boys and 24,484 are girls.

He said the rest, 11,861, were private candidates made up of 7,652 males and 4,209 females, and that the examinations are expecting to end on May 19th this year. Last year, 65,585 formal secondary education candidates were registered for the final Form Six exams alongside 9,311 private candidates.

“All preparations have been completed … including the supply of examinations, answering booklets and all necessary documents related to examinations on the Mainland and Isles,” he explained.

Dr Msonde added that the NACTE would likely to call on the Regional Councils’ examination committees to make sure all procedures for operating examination were observed effectively including assuring the safety of examination centres in order to avoid cheating.

He also called on examination supervisors to conduct the exams with seriousness they deserved … with ‘highest rate of integrity’ and warned that the council would take strict measures to “those who will go against the procedures of operating exams.”

Dr Msonde further cautioned that the council would take action against anyone involved in cheating – all in keeping with “the principles of public service and the law of the country, including canceling the results of the candidates who are found involved in acts of fraud.”

“All stakeholders are requested to provide information to relevant bodies on the identify of a person or group of persons involved in cheating during the exams,” he stressed.

The exams CEO wished all the candidates best in their performance, saying the teachers had since done their bit in preparing for the tasks that begin today.

Tanzania

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Secondary Completion Remains Low As Performance Improves

By Stephen Kafeero

Kampala — The number of candidates who sat for the Uganda Advanced Certificate of Examinations significantly increased compared to those who sat in 2015 but overall, the number completing secondary education remained low.

The past two years (2015 and 2014) had seen the number of candidates who registered for the exams and those who actually sat drop from 107,297 in 2014 to 99847 in 2015.

In the last five years, the highest number of candidates to sit for the exams was recorded in 2013 where 114,380 students did the exams. 109,972 students had sat for the same exams in 2012.

Concerns, however, remain with a large number of students failing to either join senior five or complete UACE. For example, more than 250,000 students qualified to join Senior Five in 2014, but less than half (104,000) sat for their UACE exams.

“The transition rate from UCE to UACE is unacceptably low,” Ms Museveni said, adding “I aware of the availability of other pathways after the UCE course but my ministry will make every effort to find out whether entry into those avenues actually does account for the big difference.”

She explained that the education ministry was investigating whether what she termed as the unauthorised increment in school charges were in part contributing to some students failing to advance after UCE.

Performance

A more than 3,000 increase in the number of candidates sitting for the exams in 2016, did not deter the performance which improved overall compared to 2015.

A student is deemed to qualify for university education when they score a minimum of two principal passes. 27,831(65.8%) achieved the minimum university qualification compared to 56,613 (56.7%) in 2015.

The number of those performing above the minimum requirement also increased with 39,797 (38.7%) passing with three principal passes compared to 29,754 (29.8%) who passed with the same grade in 2015. Even the failure rate dropped from 2.2 per cent in 2015 to 1.3 per cent in 2016.

Uganda

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Escalating Food Prices Worry Head Teachers As S1 Selection Begins

By Patience Ahimbisibwe

Kampala — School administrators across the country are worried about the rising cost of food ahead of Senior One selection today.

Ms Rose Iziziga, Kitante HS head teacher, yesterday asked stakeholders to be considerate if any school turns to them for support in the middle of the term.

“We don’t know how we are going to cope. The food prices are high. If they stay as high throughout the year, there will be trouble. Budgets are already drawn and approved. Our prayer is that this changes. Even if you want to increase the fees, you think of the ability of the people to pay and even when we increase, by how much?” she asked.

A kilo of maize flour which was at Shs1,800 last year is now 2,500, beans have gone up from Shs2,000 to Shs2,500 while a kilo of sugar has increased by almost Shs1,000. It is only the price of rice that has remained stable.

“How do you tell a student that there is no sugar or that the ration for posho they have been eating is going to reduce? This is where you are going to see many complaints. You can expect strikes in some schools,” Mr Iziziga said.

Ministry of Education commissioner for private schools, Mr Ismail Mulindwa yesterday admitted that they are going to have a tough year and appealed to parents and students to cooperate.

He however warned that any school wishing to increase the fees must liaise with parents and schools board of governors and seek permission from the ministry’s permanent secretary before they implement it.

“It is going to be terrible. Inevitably, schools are going to increase fees. Schools don’t have their own farms from which they pick the food. However, they have to seek permission from permanent secretary,” Mr Mulindwa said.

Most of the schools performing well in national examinations are charging parents not less than Shs900,000 per term in fees collection alone. However, there is the cost of school uniform, textbooks, realm of papers, toilet papers, cement and which have not been factored into the fees.

Mr Benson Baritazale Kule, ministry’s commissioner in charge of government aided secondary schools yesterday said that they expect over 3,000 head teachers to participate in today’s S1 placement exercise.

Releasing the 2016 Primary Leaving Examinations, Mr Daniel Odongo, Uganda National Examinations Board executive secretary reported that 541,089 candidates had passed between Divisions One to Four compared to 517,889 in the previous year. These join any post primary institution according to Uneb.

Uganda

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Mauritius: Health Minister Urges Newly Qualified Doctors to Go for Super-Specialisation

press release

The Minister of Health and Quality of Life, Mr Anil Gayan, urged the 120 newly qualified doctors enlisted as pre-registration house officers to embrace the challenge of super-specialisation, which is considered as the medicine of the future.

The appeal was made today at a one-day induction course for pre-registration house officers held at Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre in Bell-Village. Pre-registration house officers refer to medical graduates who have completed their medical degree and are undertaking an 18-month internship in local hospital setup, following an entry examination. Participants were given an overview of the local health sector and apprised of their duties and responsibilities as doctors.

According to the Minister, the level of treatment in Mauritius has reached a plateau of development. He hence put forward the imperative for the new doctors to reach a higher level in other disciplines such as neurosurgery, orthopaedics, and oncology, similar to that achieved by the cardiac centre. “This will contribute to achieve Government’s vision of making Mauritius a centre of excellence for treatment of patients, both at the local and regional level,” he said.

The Minister called on the pre-registration house officers to acquire higher standards of scholarship, learning and professionalism taking into account the fact that they have the talents, knowledge and intelligence to match those of any foreign consultant. He reminded the officers that apart from practising as doctors, there were other avenues in their careers such as teaching and academia, research and clinical trials.

With regard to the future of medicine for Mauritius, Mr Gayan pointed out that prevention and primary care will be key features while highlighting that personalised medical technology will transform the practice of medicine in the years to come. With the upcoming e-health initiative, relevant data will be fed into health records, thereby contributing to better health outcomes, he said. He stressed the need to re-think the medical curriculum to prepare physicians for the digital health open platform.

The objective of pre-registration training is to enable medical graduates acquire the necessary skills in various specialities, under the supervision of experienced consultants and specialists, with a view to enabling them to function independently. Upon the completion of the internship, the medical graduates will be required to sit for an examination carried out by the Board of Examinations of India.

Mauritius

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Girls’ Exam Performance Smashes Old Stereotypes

editorial

Two stark realities stand out from the results of last year’s Form Two Secondary Education Examinations (FTSEE) and the Standard Four National Assessment (SFNA). In both the FTSEE and SFNA, the girls dominated the Top 10 slots.

Out of the 410,519 candidates who sat the FTSEE, the Top 10 list comprised nine girls and in the SFNA Top 10 candidates, eight were girls who managed to beat over 1,007,776 contenders. It goes to show that if empowered, females can outshine males by a wide margin, contrary to old notions on “natural male superiority”.

To sustain this, learning environment for girls has to be conducive at all levels. The classroom settings, sanitation, safety and attitudes at home play a big role when it comes to the girl-child’s endeavour to seek education.

It is most heartening that our girls have proven that they have what it takes to do well in educational pursuits.

Another glaring fact was that most of the best performers are private schools learners. This should be a wake-up call for the government to improve the quality of teaching and learning in public schools. At the policy level, we have seen one too many education reforms that don’t last long enough for their impact to be felt. The country requires education strategies that allow our children to learn qualitatively, no matter what part of the country they are. It is quite disheartening that nine of the worst performing schools are from one region, namely, Mtwara.

We must appreciate the fact that learners at the poorly performing schools have an equal right to acquire quality education if they are to enjoy equal opportunities for a better life for themselves and their families. Stakeholders including government and elected leaders, teachers and parents need to come together and look into ways of bettering education performance in Mtwara.

Tanzania

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What Are the Options After PLE?

By Paul Tajuba & Joseph Kato

A candidate, according to Uganda National Examinations Board (Uneb) results, is considered to have passed Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) if he or she attains Grades 1 to 4.

The results released by Uneb yesterday, show that 541,089 out of 640,833 candidates who sat PLE last year qualified to proceed for post-primary education. This means 99,744 candidates are unlikely to continue their education beyond Primary Seven.

Mr James Tweheyo, the secretary general of Uganda National Teachers Union (Unatu), attributed the high failure rates to the automatic promotion policy in government-aided schools and poor learning environment in rural and government schools.

“It is unfortunate such a big number of candidates failed PLE. Such children and their parents become distressed as their hopes are set aback,” Mr Tweheyo said.

However, Mr Tweheyo said a candidate who did not excel at PLE should seek vocational skills instead of repeating P.7.

“Failing PLE does not mean children have become total failures. They can now go for available options in their communities such as hands-on skills such as tailoring,” Mr Tweheyo said. Mr Robert Emitu, the principal of Masulita Vocational Training Centre, said there are a number of vocational training institutions across the country, which such children can join.

“When such children come, we train them in a number of practical courses such as bricklaying, plumbing, catering, and mechanical engineering,” Mr Emitu said.

These courses take six to three years for one to qualify for a Uganda Junior Technical Certificate or Community Polytechnic Certificate equivalent to the Uganda Certificate of Education.

Mr Aggrey Ofwono, the principal of Mbale Community Polytechnic Institute, also said the unlucky candidates should not seek to re-sit exams because there is no guarantee they will better results.

“By the time Uneb declares you a failure, it means your performance was the worst. So, re-sitting PLE may not turn things around in one year. A candidate may fail again and hates school forever,” Mr Ofwono cautioned.

Like Mr Tweheyo, Mr Christopher Ojangole, the principal of Benedictine Vocational Training and Production Centre, encouraged learners who cannot proceed to secondary schools to join vocational studies.

He said there are many job opportunities in courses like welding, tailoring or hotel management, which students who run for secondary education and then university do not get.

“Majority of university students leave without skills but our students are practical,” Mr Ojangole said.

When a student gets an elementary certificate, he can be elevated to study an advanced certificate, diploma and even a degree.

Mr Robinson Nsumba Lyanzi, the commissioner for Private Schools and Institutions at the Ministry of Education and Sports, last year advised candidates who failed national examinations to seek skilling themselves.

He challenged them to ignore the negative perception about vocational education and seek professional technical knowledge in order to fit in the competitive world.

More Than 500,000 Pupils Pass PLE

By Patience Ahimbisibwe & Damali Mukhaye

Kampala — More than half of candidates who sat last year’s Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) are eligible to join post-primary institutions for further education, according to Uganda National Examinations Board (Uneb).

The results released yesterday showed that 541,089 candidates, representing 87per cent of the total candidates who sat the examinations, passed in Divisions One, Two, Three and Four compared to 517,889 (86.2 per cent) in the previous year.

“There is better performance in 2016 than 2015, especially at Division One and Two levels,” Mr Daniel Odongo, Uneb executive secretary, said during release of the results yesterday.

He added: “More pupils will qualify to join the post-primary institutions than the previous years.”

Majority of candidates, 251,787, passed in Division Two compared to 63,400 who appeared in Division One, which is the best grade under the Uneb rating.

Although there were more girls who registered for PLE at 51.3per cent than boys at 48.7per cent, the latter performed better than their female counterparts.

The examination centre at Luzira Upper Prison had 77 candidates of which two attained Division One and 32 were in Division Two. Mr Odongo said they were not able to establish how many special needs candidates passed as many other pupils had filled in the code for children with disabilities.

“They think that when we are marking these children with special needs, we are lenient and that is not the case. That is why they probably lied. We will first confirm these,” Mr Odongo said.

According to Uneb data, the number of pupils registering for PLE has increased from 565,663 in 2012 to 640,833 who sat last year at 12,391 centres. There were 488,310 candidates from government-aided schools implementing Universal Primary Education (UPE) in 2016 compared to 152,657 (24 per cent) from non-UPE schools.

Social Studies was the best done subject followed by English language, Science while Mathematics was the worst done.

The nine best performing areas which Uneb categorised as examination districts are: Fort Portal, Entebbe, Ntungamo, Rukungiri, Jinja, Kabale, Masaka, Mbarara, Lira and Masindi municipalities.

The least performing districts were mainly from the eastern region including Serere, Namutumba, Bulambuli, Iganga, Kaliro, Mayuge, Kween, Luuka and Buyende with Kyankwanzi in the central region.

Mr Odongo said candidates’ handwriting was this time round more legible and the candidates tried to answer the questions in full sentences regardless of whether the answers were correct.

Results for 1,886 candidates were withheld pending further investigations by the examinations board. While Mr Odongo said there were no examination leakages, he added that there were new forms of exam malpractices which cropped up, such as teachers assisting the candidates in the examination room.

This report alarmed the Education minister Janet Museveni who wondered at the decadency of teachers’ morals.

“I am alarmed by the number of withheld results. Teachers who should be role models, they are the ones now misleading the pupils. I think it’s because they have not done a good job of teaching so they want children to pass without understanding,” Ms Museveni said at the release of results yesterday.

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