The Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) has taken measures to address concerns raised by numerous schools regarding students with unpaid fees accessing their examination results. UNEB emphasizes that all candidates should be allowed to sit exams regardless of their fee status.
In response to complaints that UNEB was not effectively blocking defaulters, Dan Odongo, Executive Director of UNEB, acknowledged past system challenges but stated that the board has recently updated and upgraded its system to resolve this issue. He expressed empathy for candidates unable to pay fees and noted the financial burden on schools.
Over the years, there has been public outcry over schools preventing registered candidates from taking exams due to unpaid fees. In the past, schools used examination results as leverage for fee clearance. However, UNEB introduced SMS services as an alternative for candidates to obtain results.
To address these concerns, Odongo revealed that UNEB is actively working to ensure the results of defaulting students are not shared during the national selection and placement processes.
The issue of school fees has been a significant concern, with some schools allowing learners with unpaid fees to sit for exams, while parents agree to payment schedules.
Meanwhile, UNEB has issued an advisory to local government authorities to ensure the seamless distribution of examination papers, emphasizing their role in the process. Dan Odongo urged local governments to provide the necessary logistics for secure transportation.
While UNEB has been actively combating examination leakage, the distribution process remains a vulnerable point, particularly in rural areas. UNEB has been pursuing suspects actively, and new legislation imposes severe penalties for malpractice.
In the ongoing UCE examinations, several invigilators have been arrested in connection with malpractice. To ensure the smooth field conduct of PLE, UNEB has enlisted the assistance of district monitors, scouts, chief invigilators, and security personnel.
In this year’s Primary Leaving Examination (PLE), a total of 749,347 candidates were registered from 14,442 examination centers, including inmates and candidates with special needs. The majority of examination centers were Universal Primary Education (UPE) schools, with the rest falling into the Non-UPE category. Overall, 70% of the candidates received funding through the UPE program.