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Primary Three Pupils Cannot Draw Objects-UNEB Report

The report commonly referred to as NAPE is aimed at establishing the levels of learners’ and teacher’s achievement in numeracy and literacy in English against factors such as gender, school ownership and location.
According to the report, learners cannot identify things in the environment

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Primary three pupils cannot draw objects in their environment. This is according to a report published by the Uganda National Examinations Board-UNEB.

The report commonly referred to as NAPE is aimed at establishing the levels of learners’ and teacher’s achievement in numeracy and literacy in English against factors such as gender, school ownership and location.

The survey focused on pupils in primary three and six together with their teachers and primary teachers’ college tutors who were subjected to tests to establish their competencies in knowledge and skills.


According to the 2018 NAPE report, failing to draw objects was a problem that was witnessed in all the 122 districts where the survey took place. The reports shows that primary three children faced difficulty in areas including writing correct names for objects in their environment, interpreting short texts they had read and describing activities in a picture using a single correct sentence.

Uganda Radio Network visited three primary schools in Kampala and interacted with the pupils in the schools. At least two out of every five learners could identify the objects within their environment but could not properly spell them. Words like buckets were spelt as ‘bakets’.

Joan Arach, a primary three teacher at Kitante Primary School says that primary three learners can’t identify the objects in their environment because they can’t read and write. According to her, learners should be taught how to read first, write and then be able to draw with understanding.

Cue in: “Literacy is all…

Cue out: “… how to draw”

According to Arach, learners should be introduced to reading in nursery school so that by the time they join primary, they can use vowels to try and spell the words. She says that from her experience, learners who find it hard to spell words or even identify objects correctly normally had a bad foundation in nursery school.

“If learners go to bad nursery schools, at times when they come to primary school, they lag behind.”

Rose Nakalema, a P.3 teacher at Buganda Road Primary school says that some learners and find it hard to identify objects of words that they already know.

“A pupil might know how to spell the word apple but not be able to point one out. They know the word in their head but because maybe they have never seen an apple before, they cannot even draw one.

Another finding from the survey showed that girls were more competent in knowledge and skill than boys. The proficiency of girls in Literacy in English was 52.5% higher than that of boys at 47.4%. This test was on the learners’ ability to write letters of the alphabet, spell compound words, construct sentences with knowledge of tenses and interpret short passages.

To bridge up the gaps, the researchers recommended that teacher should teach learners how to read, understand and interpret what they are being taught. The report also recommends that teachers should go for refresher courses to learn how to use teaching aids to help learners associate words with their corresponding images.