Uganda’s S4 Exam Results: Insights, Challenges, and Future Plans.

The recently released S4 examination results for the year 2023 reveal a notable increase in candidature, with 364,469 candidates sitting for exams across 3,808 examination centers. Among these candidates, 32.5% were beneficiaries of the Uganda Support to Education (USE) program. However, despite improvements in subjects like English Language, Religious Education, Mathematics, and Biology, there were noticeable drops in subjects like History, Agriculture, and Physics.

ED Dan Odongo, the Executive Director of Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB), highlighted the performance trends, noting significant improvements in English Language and certain science subjects, while expressing concerns about the persistent challenges in Physics and Chemistry. He attributed low achievement levels in science subjects to inadequate teaching and a lack of practical experience, particularly in schools without science teachers. Furthermore, he addressed the issue of examination malpractice, acknowledging a reduction in reported cases but emphasizing the need for continued vigilance. He highlighted instances of external assistance during examinations and outlined measures to address such misconduct, including notifications to affected schools and scheduled hearings.

Professor Celestino Obua, the Executive Secretary of Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB), echoed similar sentiments, emphasizing the challenges in science subjects, where less than 20% of candidates obtained Credit pass levels in Physics and Chemistry. Factors contributing to this include inadequate teaching and a lack of practical experience, particularly in schools without science teachers. Additionally, concerns were raised regarding examination malpractice, with cases mostly involving external assistance in Physics, Chemistry practicals, and Mathematics. Efforts are underway to address these issues, including notifying affected schools and conducting hearings.

Looking ahead, they emphasized the transition to the New Lower Secondary Curriculum, which will be implemented in future examinations. They assured stakeholders that preparations for this transition are underway, with sample papers for the new curriculum being made available to all examination centers. Additionally, they addressed misinformation surrounding UNEB grading, emphasizing that the grading system is fair and does not discriminate against schools in and around Kampala. They debunked false claims regarding selective grading and reiterated UNEB’s commitment to maintaining integrity in the examination process.

Overall, the release of the S4 results marks an important milestone in Uganda’s education system, highlighting both achievements and areas for improvement in ensuring quality education for all students.