S.1 entrants to submit Learner Identification Numbers before admission

Kampala – Both public and private secondary school head teachers have to ensure that all senior one entrants provide their Learner Identification Numbers before they are admitted, the Ministry of Education and Sports has directed.

The Permanent Secretary of the Education Ministry, Ketty Lamaro, emphasized the directive to head teachers during the kick-off of the senior one selection exercise on Thursday in Kampala.

The Learner Identification Number (LIN) is a unique identifier assigned to each learner as part of the recently upgraded Education Management Information System (EMIS). The system was launched in July 2022 with the goal of reducing corruption, monitoring student performance, and improving data management within the education sector.

Lamaro noted that the LIN will play a crucial role for the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) in collecting the continuous assessment results of learners as required by the new lower secondary curriculum.

The new lower secondary curriculum prioritizes continuous classroom-based assessment, which accounts for 20 percent of the final results at the end of the educational cycle in senior four. According to the ministry, the LIN will be used to monitor the learner and in case one changes school mid-way, the accumulated scores are not lost.

Vincent Ssozi, the Assistant Commissioner for Statistics, Monitoring, and Evaluation in the Ministry of Education stated that the ministry is insisting on using the LIN assigned by primary schools to prevent any duplication that may occur if the secondary schools re-enter the students’ information into the system.

Statistics from the Ministry of Education indicate that over 77 percent, which is approximately 641,143 candidates who registered for the Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) last year have already been entered into the EMIS system. This means that approximately 224,816 candidates were not registered.

Ssozi advised learners who do not know their LIN to contact their primary schools to retrieve the number from the head teacher who added them to the system. He added that if they are not already on the system, they should also go back to the primary school to be enrolled.

“If we allow those who don’t have them to enroll from the secondary schools, this might compromise the system as even those who already have been captured in the system might be re-submitted,” Ssozi noted.

Since July last year, the Education Ministry has been pushing schools to register on the system and at one point they threatened to withhold capitation grants for public schools and education institutions, which fail to finalize the online registration of learners.

Apart from government schools, the ministry also warned that private schools would have their licenses canceled if they fail to upload the necessary data in time. At some point, the ministry stated that students from schools that were not registered on the EMIS would not receive their exam results, but this was not implemented and there was no mention of the LIN or EMIS system during the release of examination results.

Overall, the government has recorded approximately 9.7 million students on the EMIS system, with an estimated 6 million students yet to be recorded. Ssozi said the ministry is finding a problem with private schools and selected schools from rural areas.

It should be noted that a number of schools that have not yet uploaded data have over time attributed the delay to equipment shortages and glitches in the EMIS.

Meanwhile, this year’s senior one selection exercise has experienced delays due to the lack of student lists for some schools. This according to a source on the national selection committee was due to a technical glitch from the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB).

“The lists are developed based on UNEB data, unfortunately, their computer broke down but they have since fixed the matter and soon those who have not got the list will receive them. We still have time given the fact that we allocated two days to the process,” the source noted.

Source: URN