In a significant educational milestone, the Executive Director of the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB), Mr. Dan Odongo, has revealed that a staggering 749,347 students have embarked on their Primary Leaving Examinations.
This annual event marks a crucial step in the academic journey of Ugandan pupils. Notably, among the examinees, 2,436 are learners in the Special Needs Education category.
This year, candidates have registered from an impressive 14,442 examination centers, showcasing an increase compared to the previous year’s 14,153 centers. Interestingly, 79 candidates are inmates from the Upper Prison School in Luzira, comprising 13 females and 66 males.
The gender balance remains evident, with 52% of the total candidates being females (391,558) and 48% males (357,789). The majority of examination centers, accounting for 79%, are Universal Primary Education (UPE) schools, boasting a total of 501,619 candidates.
Mr. Odongo made these announcements during the commissioning of the 2023 Primary Leaving Examination (PLE) and the Uganda Advanced Certificates of Education (UACE) Examination in Kampala.
It’s essential to note that 70% of the candidates benefit from the Universal Primary Education (UPE) Program, whereas the remaining 30% are privately sponsored.
Importantly, UNEB has committed to supporting 2,580 candidates with Special Needs Education (SNE).
To ensure a level playing field, UNEB will provide braille question papers and answer sheets for the blind, large print materials for those with low vision, sign language interpreters for the deaf, and transcribers for learners with dyslexia and severe physical impairments.
These special-needs candidates will also receive an extra 45 minutes for each paper, and a total of 769 SNE personnel have been deployed to offer necessary assistance.
In Entebbe, the Municipal Education Officer, Ms. Joyce Nalubega, affirmed that 2,051 candidates will sit for the exams at 21 official UNEB seating centers. These include 14 government UPE schools and seven private schools.
The authorities are committed to ensuring that no pupil misses the examinations, urging parents of day scholars to prepare their children adequately for a smooth exam experience.
Ms. Florence Nayiga, the Director of Sure Prospects Primary School, emphasized that they have prepared students, including those with special needs, both mentally and physically for the upcoming exams.
The Ministry of Education has assigned pupils translators to assist special-needs students during the exams, ensuring they receive the necessary support.
Little Doves Nest Junior School director, Ms. Sarah Kimara, encouraged candidates to believe in themselves, stay confident, and remember that they have been adequately prepared for the exams.
She highlighted their consistent practice and emphasized putting faith in their abilities.
Mr. Arismus Okiror, the head teacher of Skylands International School, Entebbe, expressed his school’s commitment to preparing students both physically and mentally, instilling the belief that they can excel in the exams.