Senior Four students of St. Balikuddembe Senior School Kisoga during their dedication prayers led by Fr. Deogratias Kiibi on Sunday.

Involve into Exam Malpractices at your Own Risk-UNEB Warns

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The Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) exams have officially kicked off today with the briefing of candidates.

At pre-exams media briefing held at the Uganda Media Centre in Kampala on Friday morning, Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) executive director Dan Odongo told reporters that over 360,000 students registered to sit UCE exams this year and that effective Monday, October 16, they will start writing their exams.

This year’s examinations will be conducted under the theme: Integrity and Security in the Management of Examinations is a Joint Responsibility.

“Candidates will, thereafter, start writing their examinations on Monday, October 16, 2023, starting with Geography Paper 1 and 2 in the morning and afternoon, respectively,” he said.

“During the briefing session, candidates are made aware of the instructions contained in the timetable as well as the rules and regulations guiding the conduct of the exams. The headteachers must explain clearly to the candidates the consequences of their not adhering to these rules and regulations, and of cheating in the examination,” he added.

According to Odongo, UNEB has since established that cases of irregularities and malpractices by candidates quite often arise from candidates receiving inadequate, or no briefing at all.

Facts about this year’s exams

According to UNEB, a total of 364,470 candidates registered to sit UCE exams this year, an increase of 4.3% in total candidature compared to 349,445 candidates last year.

The candidates will write their papers from 3,863 centres countrywide compared to 3,703 examination centres in 2022.

Odongo said at Luzira Upper Prison centre, 59 inmate candidates were registered, of whom seven are females and 52 are males.

The total number of the candidates who are from Universal Secondary Education (USE) or public schools, Odongo said comprises 32.5% (118,735) and the rest are non-USE.

He said 777 of the candidates are Special Needs Education (SNE) learners adding that the board has arranged for them to receive the necessary support per their needs.

“UNEB will provide braille answer sheets for the blind, and large print question papers for those with low vision, while the deaf will receive sign language interpreters. Candidates with severe physical impairments that may affect the use of apparatus during practical examinations will also receive support personnel. Those with dyslexia/reading and writing problems will be availed with transcribers,” Odongo said.

UNEB has also devoted the weekend to the dedication prayers of candidates for the examination process which UNEB has requested from all faith affiliations.

These prayers are scheduled to take place from today Friday, October 13 to Sunday, October 15, 2023.

The security is well guaranteed

Odongo said the board is working with various security agencies, contracted professionals, and heads of centres to conduct this examination.

“We shall deploy 1,036 security officers, 1,113 scouts, and 107,941 invigilators. While high levels of integrity are expected from those we are working with, UNEB strongly warns against involvement in any form of examination malpractice,” he said.

He added; “We would also like to strongly warn the public against fraudsters purporting to have the blueprint of the UNEB examination papers and extorting huge sums of money from unsuspecting members of the public. We hereby caution the public against dealing with such people. So far, nine key suspects have been arrested and arraigned before the court.”

He said six of the suspects were on Thursday remanded to Luzira Prison until October 30, 2023, for allegedly attempting to breach exams.

“It is our plea that they are dealt with per the provisions of the UNEB Act, 2(21). Our security agencies are following up on the rest who are on the run. Any other person, be they teachers, or invigilators, who will aid and abet acts of malpractice will face the full force of the law,” he said.

Don’t Condone Indisciplined Candidates-Fr. Kiibi tells School Heads

He added; “Candidates and all concerned must note that involvement in malpractice in one paper shall lead to the cancellation of the results of the whole examination.”

He said the board has set up a toll-free line 0800-211-077 which members of the public can use to report any suspected case of examination malpractice.

Police spokesperson Fred Enanga emphasised that Police must secure the exams and that over 1,000 officers from different directorates of police have been deployed to secure the exams.

He added that they were yet to register any breaches of the examination materials in the process of transferring the examination materials to centres.

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