Ugandan and Kenyan national exams show Bridge pupils do better

16 January 2018

Primary school graduates from Bridge International Academies (Bridge) are celebrating in Uganda after surpassing their peers in the end of primary school exam. The strong results continue the Bridge trend set in Liberia and Kenya where pupils in Bridge schools also outperformed their peers in independent tests.

The Primary Leaving Exam (PLE) in Uganda is the main government examination that all students sit at the end of primary school. The results determine if a child can progress to secondary school. Bridge pupils sat the exam for the first time and substantially beat national and regional averages.

Those who pass the exam are divided into four divisions, with the top performers in division one and the worst in division four. 93% of Bridge graduates reached Divisions 1 or 2, while nationwide only 56% of graduates scored in these top two divisions.

Pupils achieving Division 1 & 2 scores, by gender.

Overall, 100% of Bridge graduates passed the exam, while nationally only 91% passed. All Bridge pupils taking part in the exam were in the eastern region, where the average pass rate was 87%.

Bridge pupils now have above average, independent tests or national exam results in three different countries over the last six months: Liberia, Kenya and Uganda. In all these locations Bridge teachers use detailed teacher guides to improve the learning experience of pupils.

The top Bridge graduate was Dada Jane Nabutere, making her one of the nation’s top primary school graduates. She said, “I am so proud of my success and my parents are really excited! I worked really hard and had lots of help from my teachers so hoped that I could do well. I want to be a Civil Servant… and maybe even a minister one day. Now it’s possible and I would never have achieved this without Bridge.”

While poverty has fallen across Uganda, prosperity has been slower in the east. Not surprisingly, candidates in Eastern Uganda have historically underperformed on the exam. In 2017, only 87% of pupils in eastern Uganda passed the PLE, and 44% were placed in the top 2 divisions. Bridge’s pass rate was 13 percentage points higher than the eastern average, and students were more than twice as likely to be placed in Division 1 or Division 2.

Ogaba Bonny, a Bridge teacher from Magamaga, said, “We always believed in our pupils. From the time they joined Bridge, their academic performance was steadily improving. These results are an encouragement for us to continue to provide evidence based learning. The way we are supported with teaching resources and guides has made all the difference.”

Morrison Rwakakamba, Country Director for Bridge in Uganda said “This shows fantastic dedication and hard work by our teachers who are consistently delivering a life-changing education for children in some of the most challenging parts of Uganda.” 

Mr. Rwakakamba also attributed the success to the great support from the government of Uganda, saying, “ We are grateful to the minister for Education Hon. Janet Kataaha Museveni for the support and encouragement that she extended to us throughout the academic year. With her passion and enthusiasm towards educating Uganda’s children, in partnership with the private sector, the future of this great nation remains bright.”

Girls at Bridge excelled, challenging the prevailing gender performance gap in Uganda.

Girls were almost 2.5 times more likely to achieve Division 1 or Division 2 than their Eastern Ugandan peers:  

PLE scores by gender.

Bridge has been running schools in Uganda since February 2015, and uses the same successful teaching model that has been helping children in Kenya since 2009.


For more information please contact:

Ben Rudd
Director of Public Relations, Bridge
+44 (0) 20 3813 8236

Notes to Editors

Interviews and case studies are available on request.

Across Uganda a total of 646,189 pupils sat the PLE. Most are 14 years old.

Bridge has been operating in Uganda since 2015 and runs 63 academies across the country.

2017 is the first year that Bridge pupils sat for the PLE in Uganda.

The Ugandan scoring system is that the lower the mark the better a child has performed.

In the above tables, averages for national and eastern results include private and public Ugandan schools.

The Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) are the compulsory national exams that all Ugandan pupils take at the end of Primary Seven.  Independently administered by the Uganda National Examinations Board, PLE is a high stakes standardized exam.  The mark is entirely based on exam performance and does not comprise any teacher assessments or coursework. Please note:

  • Pupils who pass in division 1,2, 3 and 4 qualify for secondary school education.
  • Bridge is proud to teach the Ugandan curriculum and there’s no greater testimony to this than strong PLE results.

The PLE Exam took place in November 2017. The Uganda PLE results follow the:

  • 2017 government exam results in Kenya where Bridge pupils outperformed the national average by 10 percentage points. Read more here
  • Publication of a Liberian Randomised Control Trial in August 2017, which proved that after just 9 months Bridge pupils were outperforming their peers in traditional public schools by 100%. Read more here.

About Bridge International Academies

Bridge believes every child has the right to high quality education and works in partnership with governments, communities, parents and teachers to ensure access to quality education. Bridge has served 300,000 children to date.

Bridge uses in-depth teacher training and support, advanced lesson plans and wireless technology to provide pupils with a meaningful and life-changing education. Globally, there is an education crisis. Around 600 million children are either not in school at all, or in school and not learning. Bridge is committed to helping tackle this through a data driven, evidence based approach that delivers strong schools and a great education for all.

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