The Uganda National Examinations Board has recorded the lowest number of absentee candidates in the 2020 Uganda Advanced Examination Certificate- UACE exams.
A total of 952 candidates registered for the exams but did not show up.
This is the lowest number of absentee candidates that UNEB has recorded in the past five years. In 2019 a total of 1,046 candidates were reported absent. The previous year in 2018, this figure stood at 1,052 and in 2017 and 2016, the figures stood at 1,203 and 1,388 respectively.
According to the Executive Secretary of UNEB, Dan Odongo, the number of candidates who did not show up for the 2020 examination cycle is not alarming.
“When you look at the numbers of absentee candidates, there has not been a very big change. The numbers have remained the same. The rate of absenteeism has been reducing. Candidates who register for the exams stay on to sit for them,” Odongo said.
Prof Mark Okwakol, the chairman of the UNEB board said the examination body is going to investigate why some candidates register to sit for examinations but never show up to sit for them.
“As the minister directed at the release of UCE, we are going to carry out investigations to find out why candidates who sit for examinations do not sit for them,” she said.
The examination body also recorded a decrease in the number of registered candidates. Over 6,000 candidates did not register for the examinations. The highest decrease in registered candidates was reported among males at 6 percent while females stood at 5.6 percent.
A study carried out by the examination board revealed that many candidates failed to register for exams because some private schools failed to re-open following the eight months lockdown last year. The report also cites financial challenges faced by parents and early marriages of some students as reasons why some candidates did not show up for the exams.
Regarding the performance, the board reports an improvement in the general performance.
99.2 percent passed the examinations. Over 68,000 of the candidates scored at least two principal passes required for university admission.
Female candidates performed better than their male counterparts with more scoring at least three principal passes compared to the males.