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Janet Museveni

2020 UCE Results: What We Know

According to Uneb, 94% of candidates who sat the 2020 U.C.E. passed compared with 91% in 2019.  
posted onJuly 30, 2021

Minister of Education and Sports First Lady Janet Museveni has today officiated the release of the 2020 Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) Examination results.

330,592 candidates sat for the O-Level exams in March/April 2021 due to Covid-19.

According to Uneb, 94% of candidates who sat the 2020 U.C.E. passed compared with 91% in 2019.  

Janet Museveni said fewer candidates had sat for exams compared to the previous year.

"It is rather unfortunate that 4,324 (Four thousand, three hundred and thirty-four) fewer candidates registered for UCE in 2020 compared with 2019. As of now, the technical team at UNEB and the Ministry is attributing this reduction largely to circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic," she said.

"For instance, when Secondary Schools were assessed for readiness of compliance with the COVID-19 SOPs, only 94 (ninety-four) percent of them met the requirements. Therefore, there were 06 (six) percent of Secondary Schools deemed not safe for learners."

The minister also noted that they are not seeing improvement in performance in the Science subjects despite investments being made in this area.

"We have recruited more science teachers and enhanced their salaries to at least UGX 1.2 million per month for undergraduates. Public Secondary Schools have the best equipped and resourced Science laboratories. Additionally, we have had a program called SESEMAT to build capacity of Secondary School teachers in the area of pedagogy for teaching sciences. So, where and why is there a problem?" she wondered.

"Similarly, Government has increased the Budget Allocation for the Directorate of Education Standards (DES) by 98.2 percent (that is UGX 4.077 billion), from UGX 4.15 billion to UGX 8.277 billion over the last 5 years. This was to strengthen the capacity not only support Local Governments in Inspection and Supervision but also to carry out inspection and supervision of post-primary education institutions which include Secondary Schools," she went on.

"In spite of all these investments, learners still complain of being taught Science practicals infrequently. There are still complaints that laboratory equipment and resources are lying idle (and some still unpacked) in some government schools."

That being said, she tasked the new Permanent Secretary to study the problem further and report to her with evidence-based solutions on the way forward. 

The minister also revealed that over the last five years, there has been a consistent downward trend in the proportion of S.4 Candidates who register for U.C.E. but fail to sit the Exam.

This year 2,468 students didn't sit exams.


The Uneb executive director Dan Odongo said the number of male candidates registered was 166,744 (50.01%) and that of females is 166,652 (49.99%). 

"The difference is only 92 more males than females. In 2019, the number of females had surpassed that of the males by 398," he said.

"In 2020, 330,592 candidates (165,251 males and 165,341 females) appeared for the examination compared to 333,060 candidates who appeared for the examination in 2019. This is a decrease of 2,468 (-0.7%) candidates. The number of females who sat was more than that of males by 90 candidates."

In science subjects, nearly half of the candidates have not achieved the minimum Pass 8 level. 

Chemistry remains the worst done subject, he said.

Female candidates performed better than males in the English Language. 

In other large entry subjects, male candidates show better performance, with the differences more marked in Mathematics and the Sciences. 

"This trend in the disparity between the performance of male and female candidates has been observed over the years," said Odongo.




A total of 519 Special Needs Education (SNE) candidates (252 males; 267 females) registered for the 2020 UCE examination compared to 358 in 2019. 

Of these, 29 were blind, low vision (104), the deaf (78), the dyslexics (43) and physically handicapped (76). There were 189 others with other forms of disability that only needed to be given extra time. 

The best Specials Needs Student, Joel Khauka, got 10 aggregate and sat for exams from Uganda Martyrs SS Namugongo.

All prisoners who sat for the Exams passed.

"UNEB maintains an examination centre at Luzira Prisons for the inmates to assist the Uganda Prison Service in their efforts at rehabilitation of offenders," said Odongo.

"The centre registered 45 candidates and all sat. Four obtained Division 1, eight passed in Division 2, 15 got Division 3; and 18 passed in Division 4. None failed."

Uneb has withheld results of 1,292 candidates, though the number is smaller than 1,825 seen in 2019.

The affected candidates will be given a fair hearing, said Odongo. 

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