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Candidates Resort to Cram Work to Pass Biology Practicals-UNEB

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The UNEB Executive Secretary, Dan Odongo, says instead of carrying out practicals like dissecting the provided specimen during the examination, many candidates answered questions basing on answers from practical handbooks and pamphlets.
A drawing of toad to be dissected. According to UNEB, candidates are cramming such drawings are representing them in practical examinations

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Over 100 candidates who sat Biology examinations in last year’s Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education-UACE crammed the outcomes of practical lessons, the Examination body has revealed.

The UNEB Executive Secretary, Dan Odongo, says instead of carrying out practicals like dissecting the provided specimen during the examination, many candidates answered questions basing on answers from practical handbooks and pamphlets.    

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According to Odongo, examination invigilators reported candidates using crammed Biology drawings when they noticed that candidates didn’t touch the specimen provided during examination and appeared to draw from memory. 

Odongo says that Biology teachers ought to become serious with practicals, adding that students at this level need to work to learn both practicals and theory.   

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Despite cases of cram work, the performance in Biology improved with 48 percent of the candidates getting at least three principal passes. In 2018, the figure stood at 37.8 percent. 

An improvement in the number of distinctions scored in the subject was also registered. 0.4 percent of the candidates who sat for the examinations got As compared to no student last year in 2018.

The number of candidates who also sat for the paper increased from 13.3 percent in 2018 to 14 percent in 2019. This isn’t the first time candidates sitting national examinations are being accused of cram work. 

During the release of Uganda Certificate of Education exam results this year, it was noted that candidates had resorted to cramming big English words for use in composition writing. Odongo told journalists during a press briefing that the candidates ended up using unnecessary words.