Govt considers scrapping PLE

Pupils during last year PLE sitting

The Government is discussing a proposal of scrap Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE), the Minister of Education and Sports and First Lady, Mrs Janet Museveni, revealed yesterday.

Education ministry officials and the National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC) were last week engaged in deliberations regarding the abolishing of examinations at the end of primary school, Mrs Museveni said during the launch of a World Bank report on education entitled: Facing forward  Schooling for learning in Africa at the Office of the Prime Minister in Kampala.

“This phenomenon apparently produces two observable changes: a reduction in the spike in repetitions observed for the class and an increase in transition rates to lower secondary education,” she noted.

Mrs Museveni cited Botswana, which in 1987 eliminated examinations at the end of primary school and as a result, the transition rate between primary and lower secondary education rose from around 50% before 1987 to around 90% by 1994. She said the country needed to decide on the matter in the not-so distant future. The idea of abolishing PLE was first mooted in 2013, then 2015, but the discussions stalled. The education ministry then said it intended to replace PLE with a continuous assessment system.

 Mrs Museveni said although Uganda was clearly on track, there was still need to do better in order to scale up interventions aimed at improving teaching and learning. She regretted that Uganda, once the best in the region, is now placed in category two. The First Lady said Uganda’s poor performance was due to the two decades wasted because of political chaos.

“Catching up with our country’s needs started only recently.

While we were destroying our country and its systems, our neighbours were working, building and improving their systems. This is to invite you our development partners to have the willingness to run with us in order to catch up with the rest of the world,” Mrs Museveni said.