Our results in Uganda

In Uganda, primary school pupils sit the national primary leaving exam (PLE) at the end of Primary 7. All pupils in primary school need to take the exam in order to progress to secondary school. The PLE provides an external measurement of our pupils’ academic progress, and the opportunity to compare Bridge Schools results with neighbouring schools.

The 2017 cohort was the first to sit PLE exams following the arrival of Bridge Schools to Uganda in 2015; it runs 63 schools across the country. The results are impressive with 100% of Bridge Schools pupils passing the national exam.

In addition, Bridge Schools significantly outperformed the Ugandan national average with over 93% of pupils being placed in Division 1 or 2 compared to only 56% nationally.

What is even more striking is that these pupils come from impoverished Eastern Uganda, where candidates have historically underperformed on the PLE. This year, while a respectable 87% of pupils in eastern Uganda passed the PLE, only 44% were placed in the top 2 divisions. Bridge pupils were twice as likely as their peers within their region to achieve top scores.

Girls who sat their PLE exam at Bridge Schools performed particularly well with 95% achieving results in Division 1 and 2. The best performing pupil was 12-year-old Dada Jane Nabutere from Bridge Malaba, in Tororo district who dreams of being a Government Minister someday. Read more of her story here.

Bridge Schools girls’ performance equaled boys’ performance and challenged the prevailing gender performance gap. Bridge Schools girls were almost two and a half times more likely to achieve Division 1 or Division 2 than girls across Eastern Uganda.

The results mean that all Bridge Schools pupils have performed well enough to go on to secondary school and pursue their dreams.

The strong academic performance in Uganda is further proof that the Bridge Schools model is working. In Kenya, Bridge pupils have outperformed the national average on the Kenyan Certificate of Primary Education Exam (KCPE) for three consecutive years. In 2017, they outperformed it by 10 percentage points.

In Liberia, an RCT study revealed that Bridge Partnership Schools for Liberia public school students were learning twice as fast as their public school peers. These are impressive learning gains across multiple countries over consecutive years.

Understanding the PLE Results:

In Uganda, children may start their education between the ages of five and ten at the nearest primary school (the official government recognised age of entry is six years). There are seven primary school years, from primary one (P1) to primary seven (P7).

At the end of P7, pupils sit their first major national exams – PLE. Presently PLE has four examinable subjects – English language, mathematics, science and social studies.

The best possible mark pupils can achieve is a total of four (which means one point – a distinction – in each subject), while the lowest score is a total of 36 (nine points for each subject, which means a fail).

Students with between four and 12 points pass the PLE with a first grade, or Division One. Those with scores between 13 and 23 get a second grade (Division Two); 24 to 29 get a third grade, while those with 30 to 34 pass with a fourth grade.

Anything below 28 marks – with a credit in english and maths – is enough to qualify for secondary school.

Read more about our results in Kenya and Liberia.

Watch NBS TV‘s news report on Bridge Schools‘s PLE exam success: