27 March 2019

Uganda: Schools to Miss Uneb Exams Over Science Fee

Kampala — The Ministry of Education and Sports has ordered Uganda National Examinations Board (Uneb) not to register any secondary school for this year's national Ordinary Level examinations unless they present evidence of paying money meant for retooling science teachers.

Mr Alex Kakooza, the ministry's permanent secretary, asked Mr Dan Odongo, the Uneb executive secretary, to make the certificate of remittance of the Secondary Science and Mathematics (Sesemat) programme funds a requirement for Uneb registration and collection of Uneb materials for this year.

"One of the interventions that had boosted the remittances of Sesemat funds by head teachers to regional management committees was tagging the certificate of remittance to Uneb registration of candidates and collection of Uneb materials," Mr Kakooza wrote to Mr Odongo on February 15 and copied in Residential District Commissioners, chief administrative officers, commissioners and district education officers.

Mr Odongo yesterday said schools will be required to prove that they paid the Sesemat money to their respective offices before they can register them for this year's national examinations.

Uneb will start registering 2019 candidates on April 1 and close on May 31.

Government introduced Sesemat in 2005 to improve the teaching ability of science and mathematics teachers at secondary level.

According to the Ministry of Education guidelines, every school is supposed to charge each student Shs1,000 towards the Sesemat programme. The money is supposed to be remitted to the regional offices, which in turn should organise trainings for teachers during holidays.

However, schools have not been paying the money even after collecting it from the students.

Releasing last year's national examinations, Prof Mary Okwakol, the Uneb chairperson, explained that less than 50 per cent of the candidates obtained passes at principal level in the last three years. Uneb noted that entries for science subjects are quite low with only 10 per cent of the total candidature.

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