17 March 2017

Uganda: Makerere Suspends Issuance of Transcripts, Closes Online Marks System

Makerere University has closed the online marks system and suspended the issuance of academic transcripts. The online marks system is used to enter and store student's examination scores.

Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, the Makerere University Vice Chancellor in Charge of Finance and Administration, says the drastic decision was reached after discovering that some members of staff in the academic registrar's office were tampering with student marks.

"The university suspended issuing of transcripts because of the problem that was discovered of officers fidgeting with the results system," he said.

Prof Nawangwe further noted that: "The University is investigating the system to ensure its total integrity and credibility of the data before we can resume issuing of transcripts."

Prof Nawangwe said the investigation is likely to take "sometime" but the administration is doing everything they can to ensure that students can start getting their graduates transcripts again.

"The whole results system is closed. Nobody can access the system except the people (police) who are investigating the system," he said.

On March 6, detectives from the Crime Intelligence and Investigations Department (CIID), Kireka picked up two IT specialists attached to the academic registrar's office at Makerere University on March 6th 2017 for allegedly altering student marks following a complaint by Prof Nawangwe to the Police Chief Gen Kale Kayihura.

The two, Christopher Ntwatwa and Mike Barongo are still in police custody. The online marks system is accessed by students who view their marks by logging in using their registration number and registrars in schools and colleges who enter marks in the system.

At the school of social sciences, college of humanities and social sciences, a communication has been pinned on the noticeboard informing graduates that they cannot issue testimonial because the system's closure.

"The school is not issuing testimonials to the graduates. They should get transcripts from the senate building. The results system is currently closed so all results related matter is at hold," the communication reads.

A testimonial is a letter issued to graduates confirming that they have successfully completed their degree programmes. The letter is usually issued to students whose transcripts are not ready.

Background

Days to the 67th graduation of Makerere University, the academic registrar withdrew the names of 50 students who had been cleared to graduate after it was discovered that their marks had been altered.

The university also suspended, Joyce Namusoke an Assistant Registrar in the School of Forestry, Environmental and Geographical Science.

Complaints of changing marks at Makerere University have been popping up since the turn of the decade. The complaints usually emerge in January, the month when students graduate. A committee set up to investigate the alteration of marks in 2015 is yet to produce its report.

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