The Ministry of Education has stopped the publication of the best and worst school performances in the national examinations. This was disclosed today by Matthew Bukenya, the Executive Secretary of the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB), during the release of the results of the 2006 Primary Leaving Examinations. Bukenya said it has been observed that publicizing the list of the best schools and students promotes unhealthy competition and encourages examination malpractices. He said UNEB has been instructed by the Ministry of Education to conduct further research into the issue before a final decision on the matter can be taken. This directive will not cover the publication of results by individual schools. Education Minister, Namirembe Bitamazire, said her office cannot impose such restrictions on the actions of private institutions. According to data from UNEB the results of 880 PLE candidates were cancelled due to examination malpractice. Bukenya said that although there was no exam leakage, other malpractices like soliciting external assistance and impersonation were rife. The cancelled results were from 57 exam centers around the country. Some of the affected districts include Nakaseke, Sironko, Mbarara, Kampala, Nebbi and Pader. Bitamazire directed UNEB to publicize the names and actions of those found guilty of exam malpractice. She said it is only by publicly ostracizing those involved that the malpractice can stop. 435,063 students passed the 2006 Primary Leaving Exams. Of these, 91 percent came from Government-aided schools under the Universal Primary Education program, and only 9 percent were from private schools. Girls made up only 39 percent of pupils who passed PLE. Bitamazire said it is her mission to close the pass rate gap between boys and girls. She added that this year she will focus on strengthening special needs education and the teaching of life skills.