Top schools set to maintain cutoff points for Senior One

By: AL-MAHDI SSENKABIRWA and PATIENCE AHIMBISIBWE

Kampala: Top schools across the country are likely to maintain last year’s Senior One cutoff points following a slight decline recorded in 2013 Primary Leaving Examinations.

A survey the Daily Monitor conducted yesterday indicates that although most schools are waiting for the government’s allocated students, they are optimistic that this year’s performance will not change significantly.

For instance, at Kigezi High School, the head teacher, Mr Benon Twinomujuni, said they will maintain aggregate 7 for boys and 8 for girls.

But Mr Francis Agula, the Ministry of Education commissioner secondary education, yesterday said the cutoff will be determined by an automatic computerised system and that it will depend on the performance of candidates who applied in that particular school.

He said the cutoffs are likely to be stiff for some schools following an improved performance at district level.

“Cutoff points likely to be stiff for some schools because districts which performed poorly last year have improved this year,” Mr Agula said. “The cutoffs will increase according to the degree of performance. But this will be minimal. Some will remain the same while others will improve,” he said.

The Senior One two-day selection exercise will begin on Friday and students are expected to report to their respective schools by February 24. Mr Mathew Bukenya, the Uganda National Examinations Board executive secretary, said the overall performance of 2013 PLE candidates was comparable to that of 2012. He said the pass rate last year was 88.1 per cent against 88.4 per cent in 2012.

Mr Bukenya also said urban schools performed better than their rural colleagues. This means students from primary schools in urban areas will continue to enjoy slots in schools with good facilities because they have better grades.

Why students miss out

Previously, Mr Francis Agula, Ministry of Education commissioner secondary education, observed that some candidates with good aggregates fail to gain admission into schools of their choice because the students select only popular institutions. As a result, such schools always have a big number of applicants which stiffens the competition. Mr Agula advised that if the first choice is popular, the subsequent three other choices should be less competitive.

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