The challenges of assessing competencies and its implications on performance in national examinations in Uganda

The challenges of assessing competencies and its implications on performance in national examinations in Uganda

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The challenges of assessing competencies and its implications on performance in national examinations in Uganda

The Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) in Uganda has been undergoing reforms overthe last ten years in order to improve the quality of education. The new reforms led to the emergenceof the Uganda Business and Technical Examinations Board (UBTEB) in the conduct of examinationsfrom certificate to diploma level following a competence based assessment. However, the learner’,s passrates are generally low raising concerns from educational stakeholders. This paper aimed at analyzingthe root causes of low pass rates in UBTEB examinations at diploma level. Respondents were obtainedthrough quarter random sampling techniques. Data collection was through questionnaires, interviewguide, question analysis checklist, observation checklists and document review. The study revealed thatinstitutions have inadequate internet connectivity, reference text books, ill equipped laboratories andworkshops. The study further revealed that entry qualification, inadequate syllabus coverage, inappropriatecurriculum, inappropriate methods of assessment used by lecturers and lecturers not oriented onthe competency based curriculum are the major factors that led to poor learners’, performance. On theother hand the results show that there is a strong relationship between what is covered in the examinationpapers and the content of the subject syllabi. It recommended equipping of colleges, re-tooling oflecturers with pedagogical skills, orient stakeholders on curriculum and strict supervision of the teachingprocess. ,Key words: assessment, competence, stakeholders.

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