Minister of General Education David Mabumba has revealed that all 388,331 pupils that sat for the Grade Seven exams have progressed to Grade Eight.

Mabumba has also revealed that boys performed better than girls in all subjects, except English.

At a media briefing this morning, Mabumba said 61 per cent of the candidates got division one, two and three results.

“There were a total of 239,034 candidates obtaining divisions one, two and three representing 61.13 per cent of the total candidates that sat for the examination. A total of 149,307 candidates obtained division four, the least grade, representing 38.44 per cent. When we announce examinations, they give us an opportunity to assess the delivery system in our school system. And for me, if you look at the 149,307 candidates who obtained division four, it is one of the issues that we need to take on board. If you have got that number, it is a huge number so what can we do to arrest this situation,” Mabumba said.

“Further, the analysis of results along the lines of gender revealed that boys performed better than girls in all the subjects except English. This calls for concerted efforts from all stakeholders, ministry officials, CSOs, cooperating partners and parents to double their efforts to championing the education of the girls.”

Mabumba wondered whether it was logical to allow the candidates that got the least grade to proceed to grade 8.

“All the 388,331 candidates who sat the grade seven examinations have been selected to grade 8 bringing the national progression rate to 100 per cent from 99.4 per cent in 2017. This is also another issue, we are allowing those 149,000 who got division four results to proceed? Are they able to read and write? I am not too sure about that, maybe ECZ will be able to tell so as we reform, these are some of the issues that we need to look at,” said Mabumba.

“55,258 were absent, 26,938 were boys while 28,323 were girls. This rate of learner absenteeism from exams is a big waste in terms of examination materials which were prepared for these candidates at the expense of government. The major causes of absenteeism included early marriages, teen pregnancies and inadequate parental involvement in the education of their children.”

Mabumba announced that Grade Seven exams would be reformed to assess the competencies of learners going forward.