Education expert Jonathan Kivumbi dismisses 2020 PLE results, invites First Lady for a swoop in UNEB

Secondary Education in Uganda

Education Minister Janet Museveni

KAMPALA — Just as the case with the LDC saga, I had equally decided to reserve my comment about the 2020 Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) results released by UNEB on Friday, July 16, 2021, at State House, Entebbe.

However, because of the overwhelming quest from many Ugandans, across the country, including those in the diaspora that desired to have my side of the story about these results, I have been compelled to break the ice.

Arguably, this is clearly demonstrates the confidence that people have in me, as an individual, more so, when it comes to matters concerned with education of our motherland-Uganda, and above all, the love that many people have for their country.

Like Albert Einstein, one of the greatest world’s thinkers ever, once said, “the world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but rather, by those who simply watch them without doing anything”, it should be noted that, time immemorial, a lot of evil has been done on our education, and the best we have done as a population, is to simply shy away, giving room to those committing evil to continue with their evil actions.

Truth be told, the amount of evil committed by educators, at all levels of instruction, on Uganda’s education, with specific reference to the teaching-learning process, of which assessment is part, is immeasurable.

Like I have said before, since its inception, the country’s examining body, at both the primary and secondary school education levels, UNEB, has NEVER presented the public with authentic, valid, and reliable results, at all levels of instruction, since these results are, as a routine, a product of TYPICALLY WRONG examinations, I will still say it here, that, since nothing has changed with these exams, the situation with the 2020 results cannot be any different.

However, I shall not delve into more detail on this, since the matter is already being handled by the relevant aauthorities. Indeed, this is a matter, I have already brought to the attention of not only the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, Maama Janet Museveni, but also to the President, as well.

There is no doubt, sooner than later, the duo shall pronounce themselves on the matter, and arguably, as people already fronting the idea of patriotism, they will definitely, ensure that the decision taken is in favour of the majority.

In fact, if there is anyone who God has blessed with the opportunity of studying up to, at least, Senior Four (S.4), and do not know yet, that the examinations administered by UNEB, at all levels of instruction, are WRONG, in all aspects, then, I can comfortably and confidently state, that the time you spent in school, was, arguably, time wasted!

You must either be ill-informed, or even, not informed, at all, to believe UNEB results, since, as earlier discussed, these results cannot be trusted, in any way, by anybody competent about education, with specific reference to assessment, communication, research, and above all, critical thinking-related knowledge.

As if administering TYPICALLY WRONG examinations is not enough, UNEB has gone ahead, to present the public with the very inconsistent results. In fact, one wonders whether the people in-charge of examinations in UNEB, including professors, know the importance of statistical analysis, to the end-user.

Precisely, nobody, including UNEB, itself, can rely on the available statistical data, concerning the academic performance of, specifically, schools, to predict the performance in the coming exams. This implies, according to UNEB, performance is arrived at by luck.

In other words, performance in UNEB exams, has, of late, become a game of chance. In the recently released PLE results, Hillside Primary School, Naalya, registered 133 candidates with aggregate 4, out the 642 ‘4s’ registered throughout the country, while Hormisdallen Primary School, Wakiso, had a total of 98 ‘4s’, coming in position two, in this category.

This implies, out of the total number of candidates that scored aggregate ‘4’ , countrywide, the two schools, alone were able to register 229 ‘4s’, representing a percentage score of 35.6%.

In fact, the total number of candidates that scored aggregate 4, from the 26th to the 141st school, in this category, in comparison with the aforementioned schools, is way, too below, as it only stands at 185, representing a percentage score of 28.8%.

However, it should be noted that, out of the 479 registered ‘4s’, in the 2019 PLE results, the two schools, that is, Hillside Primary School, Naalya and Hormisdallen Primary School, Wakiso, registered only 33 4s, of  which Hillside had 22 and Hormisdallen 11 making a total of only 33 ‘4’s as already indicated out of the total number of registered candidates, with aggregate ‘4’.

This represents a percentage score of 6.1%, as compared to the 35.6% percentage score of the two schools in the 2020 results. Without doubt, this automatically raises many questions, for any researcher.

Truth is, one does not need to be at the stage of writing their PhD thesis report in any education-related, for them to know that, there is a problem, here; which problem, automatically calls for an expedite investigation.

Uneb secretary Dan Nkorach Odongo (PHOTO /Courtesy)

Of course, needless to emphasize the fact that, as almost every school, across the country, struggled to register any of their candidates with aggregate 4, in the 2018 very controversial results, the aforementioned schools, still had the lion man’s share, with Hillside, registering a total of 57 candidates with aggregate 4, while Hormisdallen, had 47 of its candidates that sat for the exams that year, come out with aggregate 4.

Obviously, as earlier indicated, this raises many questions in the eyes of any researcher-the reason we should not let this matter, to simply sleep off.

Among the questions that ought to be focused at here include:

(1) What is it that the two schools (Hillside and Hormisdallen) do, that is not done by other schools, especially those with whom they are in the same category, in terms of facilities, manpower, and things like that?

(2) And, why is it that the performance of these two schools, and, of course, the rest of similar schools, as already mentioned, is inconsistent?

Precisely, how can Hillside, for example, register 57 candidates with aggregate 4, in 2018, 22, in 2019, and then, all of a sudden, 133, in the just released results? For goodness sake, what kind of performance curve is this?

Precisely, according to UNEB, what kind of performance curve, takes this shape?

So, according to UNEB, what is it that special thing was done by Hillside, and, of course, Hormisdallen, that was not done by Kabojja Junior, Greenhill Academy, Kampala Parents’, St. Savio, Gayaza Junior, Global Junior, Namagunga Boarding, and all those other schools, in this category?

As a concerned citizen, and above all, as a parent whose child goes to one of the schools listed here, I need an explanation, here, obviously.

Still, according to UNEB, why/how does Hormisdallen, register 47 candidates with aggregate 4, in 2018, then the number tremendously drops to only 11, in 2019, and, from nowhere, the number sporadically shoots up again, to 98?

Surely, how can you describe the shape of this performance curve, more so, to an informed person?

Can’t anyone in UNEB, including the Board’s chairperson, Professor Mary Okwakol, a research fellow, moreover, see that there is a huge problem, that necessitates investigation?

So, should we now believe (not even assume), that in the 2021 examinations, the number of registered ‘4s’, in the two schools-Hillside and Hormisdallen, is going to drop again, and then rise, in the 2022 examinations?

Precisely, should we now believe that, in 2021, Hillside, will register, say, 28 ‘4s’, and Hormisdallen, say, 15 candidates with aggregate 4?

Both Hillside Primary School, Naalya, and Parental Care Primary School, Bushenyi, had 22 of their candidates who sat the 2019 PLE register a maximum score of aggregate 4; however, in the recently released results, Hillside posted 133 candidates with an aggregate score of 4, while all efforts to identify any candidate, with aggregate 4, among the candidates of Parental Care, who sat the 2020 examinations, have been rendered futile. Without doubt, this definitely, raises questions.

First and foremost, one would be interested in finding out, what exactly both schools did, in 2019, that enabled them register the same performance, in terms of those candidates who scored aggregate 4, that was done, by the latter (Parental Care) in 2020.

For goodness sake, how possible is it for a school to register 22 ‘4s’ in a given year, but struggle to raise even a single 4, in the year that follows?

In 2019, Namirembe Parents’ Primary School had 29 of its candidates score a total aggregate of 4, while in 2020, the same school was only able to register only three (03) candidates with aggregate 4; needless to emphasize the fact that in 2017, still the same school, had only one candidate scoring aggregate 4.

Surely, according to UNEB, what kind of performance curve is this? What is it that Namirembe Parents’did in 2019, that it didn’t do in 2020?

Precisely, what exactly did Hillside and Hormisdallen do, in 2020, that Namirembe Parents’, moreover, which had the biggest number of ‘4s’ (29 of them), in 2019, compared to the aforementioned schools, did not do?

PLE 2020 overall performance

In 2018, Kabojja Junior School, did not register any candidate on the score card of those who scored aggregate 4, while in 2019, the same school was able to post 22 ‘4s’, on the score card, and in 2020, the school appears nowhere, among those that scored aggregate 4.

For heaven’s sake, according to UNEB, what kind of performance curve is this? So, how can a parent of Kabojja Junior, predict the performance of their child?

So, should we believe that 2021, the school is going to register, say, 25 ‘4s’, and in 2022, the same school, will not again post any candidate with aggregate 4?

In 2017, Seeta Junior School, Mbalala, had only 01 candidate scoring aggregate 4, while in 2019, the same school had 02 of its candidates scoring aggregate 4, and in 2020, the school registered a sporadic rise in the total number of ‘4s’, registered, since this year’s exams, it had 17 of its candidates registering aggregate 4.

Surely, according to UNEB, what kind of performance curve is this? What is it that Seeta Junior, did in 2020, that it didn’t do, in 2019?

What exactly did the school do in 2020, that was not done by schools like Kabojja Junior, Greenhill Academy, and Gayaza Junior, among other schools?

These are questions, whose answers can only be arrived at, after performing an empirical study, of course, coupled with critical thinking and analytical reasoning. Unless UNEB is telling us, we can no longer use statistics to predict performance, is when these results can go uncritiqued.

Truth be told, there is a problem with these results, that needs to be deeply investigated. By and large, there is not a single informed person that can celebrate results, of such a nature.

The other area of contention, is the issue of results, withheld by UNEB, year-in-year-out. Surely, according to UNEB, why is it that it is the hitherto, unknown schools, that are involved in examination malpractice, as a routine?

For goodness sake, does UNEB want to tell us that schools in the districts of Ntoroko, Bundibugyo, and Kasese, among others, are more interested in excellent results than schools in the Kampala metropolitan region?

Going by statistics, how many students from those districts whose results, are withheld as a routine, by UNEB, join top-notch schools like King’s College, Budo, Gayaza High School, Mt. St. Mary’s Namagunga, St. Mary’s College, Kisubi, and Uganda Martyrs’ S.S., Namugongo, among others?

And, at the upper secondary school level (UACE), apart from the district quota arrangement, how many of the students from the usually affected districts (when it comes to the withholding) of UNEB results, join Makerere University, or any other public university, on merit?

And how many even join these universities, on a private arrangement? What is it that compels a school in Ntoroko, Luuka, or Namissidwa, districts, whose students hardly join the top-notch schools, or public universities, on merit, to cheat exams, unlike schools in the urban setting, where cut-throat competition, amongst themselves, is the order of the day?

And if examination malpractice is a criminal offense, just like any other offense, of a criminal nature, why then, is it taken on by UNEB, and not the Police? So, now that UNEB performs the prosecution function, who does UNEB use as its witness, or witnesses, in this matter?

Should we say, that UNEB performs both functions? That is, should we say, that UNEB prosecutes and, at the same time, acts as its own witness, in court? Surely, is this possible?

And still, why doesn’t UNEB give all candidates, including those whose results have been cancelled, their verdict on the same day? For goodness sake, why should UNEB, release the results of some students, at continue holding onto the results of others?

Precisely, why do they release these results, prior to completion of investigations into the alleged cases of examination malpractice?

Does UNEB actually know the extent to which they psychologically torture these students, together with their parents and guardians, by delaying to release their results, or deciding their fate

So, after discovering that some of these candidates, did not involve themselves in examination malpractice, how then, does UNEB expect them to join their first, or second-choice schools, yet the release of these results, always happens, many days after the selection exercise has been closed?

Is UNEB aware, that once taken to court, over this matter, anybody, with a well-organized legal team, will beat them hands down? Now, surely, under the prevailing circumstances, for how long must the 2,220 candidates, whose results have been withheld by UNEB, wait for their fate?

Honestly speaking, the conduct of business at UNEB leaves a lot of questions, before anyone passionate, and well-informed about education, with specific reference to assessment, which questions, can only be vividly answered through conducting an empirical study, guided by critical thinking and analytical reasoning, as already mentioned-the reason, I am appealing to the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, Maama Janet Museveni, to constitute a commission of inquiry, to look into the business affairs of UNEB.

Once you talk about examination malpractice, for example, one cannot rule out UNEB, itself-for like I have already stated, examination malpractice, starts with UNEB and ends with UNEB.

If administering TYPICALLY WRONG examinations, of course, as a routine, and having results of the same, thereafter, is not examination malpractice, then, according to UNEB, how can one describe this, for goodness sake?

In fact, this is a matter that requires an in-depth investigation, to allow room for the authorities to come up with an everlasting solution to the problem.

As earlier discussed, if the UNEB does not know, the exams they are administering, are TYPICALLY WRONG, then, it is crystal clear, that the team charged with the responsibility of conducting and co-ordinating, assessment, in UNEB, is EXTREMELY INCOMPETENT in all aspects related to education, of which assessment, is part-the reason these people should be relieved of their duties, forthwith.

In fact, to allow room for smooth investigations, the executive director, UNEB, Dan Odong, and all those persons directly in-charge of examinations, in UNEB, should vacate office.

UNEB chairperson, Prof Mary Okwakol (PHOTO /Courtesy)

The chairperson, UNEB, Professor Mary Okwakol, and her team, should not be spared, either. Ideally, a complete overhaul, is what we need in UNEB, if sanity in this very sensitive institution, is to be restored.

This should be extended to Embassy House, NCDC, the Education Standards Agency (ESA), and all those other ministerial agencies, that work directly with UNEB.

We just cannot have WRONG examinations in the presence of ESA, and leave the executive director, ESA, Dr. Kedreth Turyagyenda, walk away scorch free. In fact, these people, should have left office, as early, as yesterday-for without doubt, they have proved to be TOTAL FAILURES, in as far as, executing their duties is concerned.

Arguably, Dan Odong and Mary Okwakol, of course, including all their accomplices, do not have the moral authority, to participate in the ‘release’ of the 2020 UCE and UACE examination results, whatsoever.

Thank God, the chief appointing authority, has already embarked on the process of overhauling the education ministry, as earlier requested, when he transferred the ministry’s permanent secretary, Alex Kakooza, a person who has totally failed, the ministry, and minister, in particular, to the vice president’s office.

Thank you, Your Excellency. However, as earlier mentioned to you, in my latest two correspondences, an overhaul, is what we need in the Education Ministry, if Maama Janet, is to serve the country, as expected, in an effort to enable you, secure for Ugandans, a brighter future, as earlier promised, in your latest campaigns.

For God and My Country!

Jonathan Kivumbi Educationist-communication and language skills analyst 0770880185 (WhatsApp 0702303190)


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