Education authorities in Gulu have expressed concern about the reduction
in the number of candidates sitting for the Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education
Only 889 students registered for the exams compared to
over 1,200 candidates in the previous 2019 and previous years.
Churchill Lacere, the Head-teacher Trinity College, a privately
aided school says that at their centre only 11 candidates are sitting the
national exams. He observed that many students now prefer to branch off to
undertake soft skills courses without any aims to further complete A level
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Irene Mwaka, the Head-teacher of Gulu Senior Secondary School says
they registered up to 115 candidates between October and November 2020 and 15
did not turn up either because of school fees challenges or they transferred to
other schools, though the gaps were filled with 14 new admissions.
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Tibert Amaru, the Director of Studies at Bishop Angelo Negri College says all
of their 58 registered candidates turned up for the exams, a slight increment
by four students compared to 54 who sat in the previous year 2019.
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Walter Nyeko Otti, the Gulu City Area Chief Invigilator says that
the reduction could cause the closure of some UACE exam centres in the
subsequent years should the situation continue. He noted of the 19 centres that
hosted UACE exams in 2019, only 18 are active.
Uganda National Examination Board – UNEB policy requires that for
all government or privately aided institutions to operate actively, they must
have at least 10 candidates and above and any number below that, the school should seek
the services of neighboring centres with the recommended number.
URN has also established that other traditional schools like Gulu
Central High School that previously enroll hundreds of UACE candidates have this
year registered only 120 candidates who turned up for the exams. Gulu High
School and Sacred Heart Secondary School alike have registered a decline of 15 and
39 candidates respectively.
Statistics available from UNEB indicates a total of 98,393
candidates enrolled for the UACE exams across 2,339 examination centres in the
On Monday, UNEB Publicist Jennifer Kalule Musamba revealed the
exams body is considering investigating the causes of the increasing decline in
the number of candidates.