The English language continues to pose a serious challenge to candidates at all levels of education. Many of the candidates cannot express themselves especially in questions that require explanation, while many others cannot spell basic words correctly, according to the Uganda National Examinations Board-UNEB.
Results of last year's Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education-UACE that were released on Thursday showed a decline in the performance of English language and English Literature compared to 2017. The results show that 1.1 percent of the candidates who sat for Literature in English examinations scored a distinction compared to 2.1 in 2017.
UNEB Executive Secretary Dan Odongo says that the poor use of English language cuts across from O'level to A ‘level.
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The same trend of candidates failing English Language has been observed for the last three years. Odongo attributes the continued failure for candidates to express themselves in English to the use of vernacular, slang and technology devices.
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According to Odongo, technology such as mobile phones is affecting the way students answer questions.
"We see candidates using slang and short forms of words as they write essays. Instead of someone writing, for example, the phrase 'by the time' in full, someone writes 'BTT and examiners are left guessing what they might be meaning."
A total of 98,524 candidates sat for last year's examinations. Despite the poor use of the English language, the results show that more students qualified last year to join university compared to 2017.