The ministry of education has ordered for the stop of pre-registration tests that are being carried out by some schools as a means to identify which pupils are fit to sit national examinations based on scores attained in the tests.
The ministry made the decree during the release of the 2017 Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) on Friday where pre-registration tests were cited by the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) as the reason why many districts registered fewer candidates last year compared to 2016.
Janet Kataha Museveni, the minister of education and sports denounced the act and said that it has to stop with immediate effect because it encourages pupils to drop out of school.
She said that instead of districts looking on and accepting such circumstances to take place, they should concentrate on coming up with new teaching methods to make sure that districts get good results.
According to UNEB, registration of candidates declined last year mostly in 10 districts. These districts include; Bulambuli, Buyende, Serere, Sironko, Pallisa, Kaliro, Mubende,Luuka, Iganga amd Mayuge.
Data from UNEB shows that candidate registration in some of these districts decreased by as much as 1,500 candidates. For instance, Pallisa recorded a decrease in the number of registered candidates by 1,554 .7, 628 candidates were registered in 2017 compared to 9,182 in 2016.
The minister says that schools which do not follow the directive will face repercussions such as losing their examination centers once they are singled out by the ministry of education.
She encouraged parents to play a part in the education of their children by reporting any kind of disparities set by schools by reporting them to the ministry of education.
Rosemary Sseninde, state minister of Primary Education says that the pre-registration testing is another problem faced by candidates in the country in addition to lack of school fees and absenteeism. “In addition to pre-registration test, our children who have not completed school fees are being refused to sit for examinations in some schools. This has to stop. We need to find a way of addressing this problem.”
A total of 646,190 candidates registered to sit for last year’s PLE examinations in 12,751 centers. However only 631,282 candidates eventually sat for the examinations with 14,907 candidates recorded absent during the examinations. Selections for senior one are scheduled to take place from the 24th-25th of January 2018.
Registration for the 2018 candidates is scheduled to take place country wide during first term that starts on Monday 5th February 2018, according to the Ministry of education school calendar.