KINGS’ College Budo, St. Mary’s Kitende, Central College Mityana, and Uganda Martyrs SS Namugongo had the highest percentage of their candidates picked on National Merit Admissions this year.
The other schools on National Merit Admissions with high percentages include Mt. St. Mary’s Namagunga, Gayaza
High School, Greenlight Islamic SS, God’s Way High, St Andrea Kaahwa, Seeta High and St Julian High (Gayaza), Seeta High (Mukono), Maryhill High School, and Light Academy.
The ranking National Merit Admissions considered students admitted to the universities of Makerere, Kyambogo, Gulu, Busitema, Mbarara, and Makerere University Business School.
About 2,200 students were considered in this ranking. Only 2,136 students out of over 104,000 candidates who sat for the 2019 UACE examination were selected for government scholarships, excluding those under the district quota.
Out of the 2,298 UACE schools and centers in the country, only 367 schools had their candidates selected for government sponsorship for admission on various programs in the selected universities.
A total of 216 schools had only one or two of their candidates admitted on government sponsorship in the selected universities.
According to the analysis, many schools with big candidate classes did not necessarily top in the ranking such as St. Mark’s SS Namagoma, Masaka SS, and Mbale SS with classes of over 400 candidates. They ranked low in the national ranking of government admissions by percentage.
The gender gap in admissions
Of all the available government scholarships, 75% were allotted to males. The executive director of the National Council for Higher Education, Prof. Mary Okwakol, says that the 1.5 points awarded to girls are not sufficient in eliminating the wide gap between the boys and girls who get government sponsorship.
“Even if you increased the points, this would not easily resolve this massive divide when it comes to admissions at the university level. This journey of saving the girls education should start right from the time they join the primary section,” Okwakol explains.
The state minister for higher education, Dr. John Chrysostom Muyingo, says the Government is stepping up the inspection of schools and sensitization of parents as some of the best measures to keep girls in school.
“If girls are showing up at school, there is no reason why they should be dropping out. We should be able to keep them in school.”
He also acknowledges that this is a multi-sectoral issue. Peter Tusubira, a retired teacher, says that the war against girls dropping out of school “requires parents to work with the teachers and Government”.
Tusubira says there is a need to fight child marriages and pregnancies if we are to keep girls in school. He suggests that ending child marriage means changing long-held
Tradition and challenging taboos.
Additional reporting by New Vision