Students in class at Kyambogo university.(photo by Ronard Shabomwe)

Final year students in different universities are requesting the university authorities to lower the grading system in order to enable them pass their examinations.

Universities reopened for final year students last week for a period of not more than six weeks. Four weeks for class work and two weeks for examinations.

The students say that before the closure of the university, they still had course work and tests to do which they are going to do in this remaining period. Therefore, for the shortest period they have, they argue that they should be favored by lowering the marking grades to help pass.

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According to Kellen Munguleni a finalist of Kyambogo University, if they are marked and graded as usual, it will be a great challenge for many students since they cannot handle the entire work load in the shortest time given.

She says, if this is impossible, then they should add more weeks to enable them to have enough preparations for examinations.

In universities, a student now needs to score 70-74% and 69-65% to qualify for upper and lower second class degrees respectively. Marks for a pass degree were also raised to 2.9-2.0 from 2.5-1.5. Such a degree now requires a student to score 50-59% marks, while 49% and below is a fail.

The pass mark for each course unit is at 50 percent. Students say this is high now that education is affected by the closure of learning institutions.

Rashid Aluma a finalist from Makerere University explains that as a student he has nothing to do other than reading and getting prepared for anything that shall come on their way.

Aluma says that the university should look into this issue of favoring them by lowering the pass mark from 50 percent to at least 40 percent.

Unlike other universities, Makerere University pass mark for postgraduate students is standing at 60 percent. And the undergraduate student is still at 50 percent. On this, the students say, it is high at this time when everything is affected by the COVID-19.

Peace Twikirize a final year student of Kampala international university notes that this was supposed to be a dead year. She says it will be hard to accomplish all the tests had to finish.

However, Dr Anne Begumisa, the academic registrar of Kyambogo University says the university regulations are not going to change because of the pandemic. Therefore, students should read and prepare enough in this remaining period to pass examinations.