The number of candidates who passed this year’s Primary Leaving Examinations dropped by 5.2 per cent to 81.1 per cent compared to last year. The Ministry of Education said on Monday that out of the 247,763 pupils who sat for the exams this year, 201,080 candidates are the ones who passed. Of them, 111,107 candidates representing 55.3 per cent are girls while 89, 197, representing 44.7 per cent are boys. A total of 254,434 from 2,757 schools were tested in Mathematics English, Social Studies, Kinyarwanda and Science Technology Elementary (STE). Speaking during the release of the results at the Ministry headquarters in Kimihurura, the Minister for Education, Eugene Mutimura, attributed the decline in performance to the fact that it was the first time candidates were tested based on the new Competence Based Curriculum (CBC). Introduced three years ago, the CBC seeks to ensure learners are equipped with competencies unlike in the past when they were tested based on the knowledge acquired. “Performance decreased slightly but we are happy for the results because candidates sat for CBC for the first time and passed well than expected. We are hopeful that the results will keep improving,” said Mutimura.