In his recent address, the State Minister for Higher Education, Mr John Chrysostom Muyingo, issued a stern warning to school administrators and proprietors contemplating blocking students with unpaid fees from taking their final exams. He emphasized that all registered candidates should have the opportunity to sit for their exams, with potential legal consequences for those who obstruct this process.
Mr. Muyingo’s statement came during the swearing-in ceremony of Prof Celestino Obua, the newly-appointed chairperson of the Uganda National Examinations Board (Uneb) in Kyambogo. He urged head teachers, school management committees, and school owners to support efforts to keep students in school and complete their education, regardless of their fee payment status.
This warning follows previous incidents where Senior Four candidates were prevented from taking their final exams due to fee defaults, prompting government intervention and legal actions against school officials.
Mr. Muyingo stressed that all registered candidates must be allowed to take their exams, and Uneb would collaborate with school owners to ensure that results are withheld until all fees are settled.
Discussing Prof Obua’s appointment as the new chairperson of Uneb, Mr. Muyingo expressed confidence in his ability to maintain the high standards of the examination board and work towards providing quality education and sports for all Ugandans.
He also called for a reevaluation of Uneb’s assessment methods, considering the competence-based lower secondary school curriculum and the inclusion of continuous assessments done at the school level.
Regarding Senior Four students facing academic challenges, Mr. Muyingo assured that the government would not abandon them and that discussions were underway to determine the support they would receive.
At the same event, Prof Obua pledged to uphold his oath during his tenure, promising to work collaboratively with the board members. He emphasized the importance of consensus in decision-making within Uneb.
Prof Mary Okwakol, the outgoing chairperson of Uneb, highlighted the increasing number of special needs learners taking exams and their need for assistive devices and physical support. She called for greater engagement with the Ministry of Finance and Parliament to secure funding for the Board’s national assessment progress program, which currently lacks reliable funding despite its significant benefits to the ministry.