Candidates who sat the Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education, UACE examination 2019 have been advised to be smart and make choices that will benefit them in future, especially courses that will give them an upper hand in the job market.
John Chrysostom Muyingo, the minister for higher education made the comment while speaking at the release of the UACE 2019 results by the Uganda National Examinations Board, UNEB at the office of the President on Thursday morning.
Hon. Muyingo congratulated all candidates who he said qualify to participate in the forthcoming elections as parliamentary candidates.
“Many are thinking about going to the university and do whatever is there. But that’s not what smart students would do at this time. Gone are the days when somebody would go in for a degree, for the sake of it” he said.
Adding that is very important for students to take off time during this long holiday to thoroughly think through what kind of programme they are going to study.
“It doesn’t make sense these days to go in for a degree programme simply because you will have a wonderful graduation day. What is important now is what kind of skills you are going to have. People would go in for many subjects that have kept them on the streets. It is important they consult, study the job market before making a decision to go” Muyingo added.
He further advised candidates to rather go for Diplomas and Certificates or even non formal programmes so long as they get the necessary skills needed in the job market and not just celebrate degrees as some people have done in the past.
“Be smart, go in a programme where you are sure that you will have the skills needed for you to compete in the job market” he noted.
Minister Muyingo further advised candidates who have passed examinations but are financially challenged, to apply for the loan scheme on time.
“Last year as we were releasing the list of beneficiaries of the loan scheme, my people from Nakaseke to ask whether they can be considered but it was too late. Others do not give the required materials or information about themselves and quite a number are not honest with what they provide. Be smart” he concluded.
He advised those who are financially challenged, that the government has put in place a loan scheme for them and that they should try to understand what to do.
104,476 candidates sat UACE 2019 at 2,298 centers across the country and of these only 43,625 (41%) were female as compared to 41,296 in 2018, while their male counterparts were 60,851 were males (59%).
65,723 63.6% qualified to join higher institutions of learning, though very few candidates registered for science subjects.
On the low numbers of female candidates, the minister of Education and sports Janet Kataha Museveni hoped was not as a result of dropping out of school.
“At the PLE and UCE levels, we noticed the increased candidature of girls compared to that of the boys. At this level however, the gap is now quite wide. Given the alternative opportunities available to the girls after UCE, it is my hope and firm belief that the gap does not represent drop out of girls” she said.
The minister noted that the numbers in midwifery and nurses training institutions and in primary teachers colleges and other vocational institutions attest to the fact that the girls who did not go for the UACE studies, indeed took those other career paths.
The overall candidates’ performance in the examination shows that a very high percentage of candidates 98.6% qualified for the award of the UACE, similar to 98.6% in 2018, according to Prof. Mary Okwakol, the UNEB chairperson.
Dan Odongo the UNEB Executive secretary says results of only 126 candidates have been withheld due to examination malpractice, and that these will be given fair hearing.