The Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) chairperson Prof.Mary Okwakol has revealed that results for 4525 students for the Uganda Certificate of Education have been withheld by the examinations body.
Speaking during the ceremony to release exams at the Office of the Prime Minister , Prof.Okwakol explained that after being tipped by a number of sources including whistleblowers, field personnel and examiners, the body critically scrutinised the papers of those alleged to be involved in exam malpractice.
“The board’s security committee then examined the evidence in detail and when they made a case out of it, it recommended that results be withheld, “Prof.Okwakol said.
She further explained that a fair hearing will be accorded to the affected candidates by the board’s security committee and those found culpable will have their exams cancelled.
The UNEB chairperson however defended the act of withholding exams saying that it was done with close supervision with the education ministry and also the need to have credibility for the body’s certificates.
“This measure was done in line with the board’s strategic plan objective of strengthening the credibility, recognition and competitiveness of our national certificates worldwide,”she noted.
The UNEB Executive Secretary Dan Odongo said that a total of 81 people suspected to have been involved in examination malpractice were subsequently arrested and detained by police.
“Forty nine of these have appeared in court and are currently out on bail whereas twenty one have jumped police bond and criminal summons have been issued against them,”Odongo said.
He however revealed that the overwhelming form of malpractice experienced was assistance given to candidates by third parties.
The UNEB Executive Secretary said majority of exam malpractice cases were reported in science subjects including Biology , Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics.
“Scouts reported instances in science practical papers were candidates did not carry out the experiments required in the examination but recorded in their scripts results provided from external sources. ”
A total number of 320,119 candidates sat for the 2017 Uganda Certificate of Examination but according to UNEB,1.4 percent of these had their examinations withheld.
The education minister Janet Museveni condemned what she terms as criminal acts by teachers and other people who assist students to carry out exam malpractice.
“Its inconceivable that people mandated to guide students are engaged in criminal acts of exam malpractice, “Mrs.Museveni said in her message read by the state minister for education, J.C Muyingo.
She described exam malpractice as a cancer that will eat up the country’s education system if not dealt with early enough.