17 December 2012

Uganda: Board Wants Examinations Act Amended

The Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) has demanded for an amendment of the act that governs the body to provide for harsh punishments for perpetrators of examination malpractices.

UNEB executive secretary Matthew Bukenya said the institution has asked the ministry of education to amend the act of 1983 to administer harsh punishments.

He said there were a number of incidences in which teachers, who are supposed to guard against examination malpractices, engaged themselves in assisting pupils and students during examinations this year.

Bukenya said the Act should be amended to empower the ministry to blacklist such teachers and school administrators for their dishonest behaviour.

He made the remarks on Friday at the UNEB offices in Kyambogo, where he officially launched the marking of this year's national examinations.

Bukenya said the current act renders UNEB toothless since it lacks punitive criminal sanctions for cases of examination malpractice.

He added that the monetary fine of sh50,000 for anyone implicated in examination malpractices that is provided for by the act is not effective in fighting the vice and renders UNEB ineffective in combating the problem.

Bukenya explained that the board is still investigating cases of impersonation involving teachers, who reportedly sat examinations on behalf of the students.

He said marking of PLE, UCE and BTVET examination scripts would be complete before Christmas.

Bukenya added that the examiners would soon start marking the UACE scripts.

He also observed that more examination malpractices are likely to be discovered during the marking exercise.

Dan N. Odongo, UNEB's deputy secretary in charge of secondary school examinations, said internal examination security committees have started scrutinising possible incidences of examination malpractices discovered by scrutinising the answer scripts that have so far been marked.

Such cases, Odongo said, include similar patterns of answering the questions and similar mistakes.

The UNEB board chairman, Fagil Mandy, took the examiners through various exercise drills to improve their physical fitness and sharpen their mental capacities as they continue to mark examination answer scripts.

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