The impact of examination ridden system of education on democracy in education in Uganda: an implication for policy change


  • Stephen Odama Gulu University



Uganda is a democracy, but the education system is dominated by examinations at all stages and there are variations in performance between regions of Uganda and schools in Uganda CertificatRee of Education (UCE) examinations. The purpose of this study was to comparatively examine the impact of emphasising examinations in secondary schools on democracy in education system. Data was collected using questionnaires and interviews, data from teachers, students, school leaders, and parents in secondary schools, and analysed using frequency counts, percentages, and t-tests. The study found that, to a large extent, there is no democracy in both the Central and Northern Uganda education systems because, centrally, all children are forced to take examinable subjects compulsorily and the emphasis is on students passing examinations. However, the schools in Central Uganda are democratic only in methods of administration, teaching styles, and controlling discipline, unlike those from Northern Uganda which remain undemocratic. Consequently, students in Central Uganda worked harder and were more disciplined, while the students from Northern Uganda put in less effort, and were less disciplined. Schools in Central Uganda achieve higher results, while schools in Northern Uganda achieve lower on the School Performance Index (SPI) in UCE examinations. Although all schools emphasised passing examinations, there were differences in the democratic practices in schools in Central and Northern Uganda, leading to variations in SPI in UCE examinations. The study recommends that schools should create a democratic environment where students in schools in the whole country can achieve equal performances in UCE examinations and SPI.