The Influence National Examinations on Classroom Practice in Primary Schools in Uganda: Case of Kampala and Kabale Districts

Volume 4 Issue 3
John Mary Vianney Mitana Anthony Mugagga Muwagga Cornelius Ssempala
Pages: 472-480 Download Count : 423 View Count: 497 DOI Number . Facebook Share on Google+ Save to Zotero Save to Mendeley


Most classroom practices in developing countries are of an authoritarian nature and teacher-driven. Learners are rarely involved in the teaching and learning processes. Consequently, many of them complete school without learning enough of what they are expected to learn to optimally function in their respective societies. Studies have continuously blamed such a situation on the influence of national examinations. However, there is limited consensus on the magnitude and direction of such influence. This study, therefore, set out to explore the influence of public examinations on classroom practice. The study sample included 124 teachers, 540 pupils, 18 school administrators, 10 parents and 02 officials from the private assessment institutions (Uwezo and RTI) and one official from Uganda National Examination Board. The study reveals that teachers’ selection of teaching methods is directly influenced by assessment, particularly public examinations. The methods used in teaching were those that encourage rote learning and memorisation of facts. Therefore, little or no effort is dedicated to teaching and learning methodologies that could foster the acquisition of high order thinking skills like critical thinking or problem-solving. The study argues that national examinations can be used to improved classroom practice if the content and methods of assessment are tuned to the educational objectives. The study recommends the inclusion of more test items with high order thinking skills in the Primary Leaving Examinations. This will motivate teachers and pupils to focus classroom practice on higher order thinking competencies instead of rote learning.


  • Examinations
  • primary leaving examinations
  • classroom practice
  • pedagogy
  • educational assessment in uganda
  • higher order thinking skills.
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