The Uganda National Examinations Board (Uneb) has asked government to increase funding towards the Universal Primary Education (UPE) whose beneficiaries increased by 1.7 per cent in 2022.
On Friday, Uneb chairperson Prof Mary Okwakol decried limited funding yet UPE pupils have kept increasing in the last five years.
According to Uneb about 583,768 (70.1%) of the 832,654 2022 PLE candidates were pupils who sat exams at 11,306 UPE school centres across Uganda.
“The number of UPE pupils has significantly gone up by 70, 683 but the funds for UPE have remained statistic over the last five year,” Prof Okwakol noted at the release of PLE results, an event officiated by first Lady and Education Minister Janet Museveni.
Uganda introduced the UPE program in 1997 to provide costless education to vulnerable people.
Over the last two years, government cut its annual expenditure on each UPE child beneficiary from Shs20, 000 to Shs14, 000.
“While the number of UPE learners are higher than the ones in non-UPE schools, the latter continue to perform better,” Uneb Executive Director Daniel Odongo highlighted.
Dr Odongo attributed this to better learning factors in private schools that are mostly in urban locations.
Reacting to the issue, Mrs Museveni said: “We are concerned that all our children must access education.”
She also hailed an improved performance in 2022 PLE exams as contrasted with the 2020 national exams for P7 pupils.
Meantime, Uneb also appealed for more funding to cater for special interest groups, including persons with disabilities as they are also increasing.
Uneb informed that school head teachers can start picking the PLE results from the Board’s headquarters effective January 30.
Besides, Ms Museveni announced that the selection exercise for Senior One (S1) students runs from February 2-3 at the Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA) Exhibition Hall in Kampala.
S1 students report for their term one on February 20, 2023, government has announced.