A student in their S4 has passed away, while another has given birth during the current Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) exams.
As per Jennifer Kalule, the spokesperson for the Uganda National Examinations Board (Uneb), the deceased candidate was an inspiring special needs education (SNE) student who bravely faced sickle cell disease.
Despite enduring health challenges during the exams, the candidate managed to complete the initial papers. However, her condition worsened on the third day, rendering her too weak to continue.
Due to her frail state, the school requested Uneb to provide a transcriber to assist her in finishing the remaining exams. Unfortunately, when Uneb’s support personnel visited the school the next morning, the student was in the sick bay. She was subsequently taken to the hospital, where she passed away.
In a related incident, another candidate, whose identity remains undisclosed, delivered a baby girl on the fourth day of the exams. This candidate, hailing from a school near Kampala, had already finished her papers for the first three days and had stayed home on the fourth day, when labor pains began. She was rushed to a local hospital, where she successfully gave birth and even managed to return the next day to sit for her physics exam.
Uneb has cautioned against disclosing the candidate’s identity and has revised its policies to allow expectant and breastfeeding candidates an additional 45 minutes to complete their exams. Furthermore, the Ministry of Education has ensured that pregnant students are given a fair chance to sit for their exams.
Moreover, this year’s UCE exams have been marred by reports of potential malpractice during the practical papers for Chemistry and Biology. Allegedly, some candidates recorded experimental results without conducting the experiments, violating exam regulations.
This year, a total of 364,421 candidates have officially registered for the UCE exams, which are set to continue until November 17, 2023.