7 February 2013

Uganda: Love Affairs Among Students Responsible for Poor Performance

A love affair among school children is one of the biggest causes of examination failures, the chairman of the Uganda national Examinations Board (UNEB), chairman Fagil Mandy has said.

Mandy said that he interacted with over 1m students in candidate classes and did research for five years discovering a host of reasons why students are failing and love affairs topped the list.

These were followed by laziness, poor time management and negative attitudes to teacher some subjects by some students.

The other reasons, Mandy said includes lack of concentration, students not wanting to read thinking they will spot some areas , or reading with distractions like music and others not researching to broaden knowledge, some thinking they know it all as well as panic and fear.

Performance declined this year in comparison to last, according to results which were released by the national examinations board this year.

In 2012, only 18,826 (7.2%) candidates passed in Division One, compared to 22,630 (8.5%) candidates in 2011. In Division Two, there were only 43,372 (16.6%) candidates in 2012, compared to 71,082 (18.2%) in the previous year.

The other Divisions also registered a decline in performance. In Division Three there were only 66,575 (25.4%) candidates compared to 138,726 (25.5%) the previous year. It was in Division Four that more students got to pass compared to the previous year. In 2012 there were 119,740 (94.1%) candidates, compared to 254,220 (45.3%) candidates the previous year.

But, it should also be noted that there was a reduction in the number of candidates who sat for the final examinations this year.

The executive secretary of the national examinations body, Matthew Bukenya yesterday revealed that "For reasons yet to be investigated, candidature decreased by 4,457; from 273,363 candidates who registered in 2011, to 268,906 in 2011."

Other than registering, only 262,987 candidates who turned up last year for the examinations, compared to 267,024 in the previous year.

Of these, Bukenya said, 127,801 (47.5%) were females. More so of all the candidates who sat national examinations, 101,300 (37.9%) were USE beneficiaries. However, USE beneficiaries registration decreased by 6,677 from 107,977 in 2011.

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