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UNEB Tightens PLE Regulations to Curb Malpractices

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“You will recall that in 2018, UNEB introduced the use of Random Numbers instead of school names. These numbers were tagged to the school EMIS numbers. From this year, the EMIS numbers will not be used, but actual random numbers generated for each center per paper,” Odongo.
Dan N. Odongo, the UNEB Executive Secretary speaking at the release of the 2019 PLE guidelines.

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Uganda National Examinations Board-UNEB has unveiled guidelines for this year Primary Leaving Examination–PLE with intentions of curbing examination malpractices.  

In the new guidelines dubbed “Regulations on the Conduct and Supervision of PLE 2019”, UNEB has dropped the Education Management Information System (EMIS) numbers that were used last year.  The examination body will now provide a random number for each paper sat by candidates.  

“You will recall that in 2018, UNEB introduced the use of Random Numbers instead of school names. These numbers were tagged to the school EMIS numbers. From this year, the EMIS numbers will not be used, but actual random numbers generated for each center per paper,” Odongo.

What this means is that each candidate will use a different random number for each of the four examination papers. The UNEB Executive Secretary, Dan N. Odongo disclosed this during the annual stakeholder’s meeting that was convened to reflect on the management of PLE in 2019. 

Odongo disclosed to URN that while the random numbers were being used for secondary schools, they realized the primary schools were also cheating, hence the change.    

//Cue in: “We are aware …

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He however, noted that candidates will use their personal number assigned to them during registration. Odongo says they observed that during marking last year some examiners realized that the random numbers used were Education Management Information System identification numbers.  

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Odongo says UNEB has designated examination malpractice as a national security issue, which must be a concern of every citizen, starting with district inspector of schools.  

“We have to take the fight against examination malpractice as personal crusades. We must be mindful of the mortal damage we are doing to the young children in our schools whom we make pass through the system with the belief that malpractice and corruption are normal ways of life,” Odongo said.  

Adding that; “We must prepare for the kind of country we shall have sooner than later when people who will be in charge of the affairs of the nation are those who will have made their way through cheating. Those will be the doctors, lawyers, engineers, administrators we shall have.”

According to the new guidelines, UNEB scouts and invigilators have been asked to ensure candidates check to ensure that their names, district random number, school random number, candidate personal numbers and signatures are written correctly on their scripts five minutes to the end of the examination.  

Odongo urged District Inspector of Schools and Municipal Inspector of schools to closely work with the Board in fighting examination malpractice by sensitizing all stakeholders and recommending field officers of integrity.  

“They should also declare schools of interest,” Odongo discloses.  Whereas the cases of cancelled results went down in 2017, the numbers went up from 796 to 1,971 in 2018.  Rose Nabukenya Mukasa, the UNEB Principal Examination Officer, says the situation once not taken up seriously is worrying.  

She discloses that the examinations body has always pointed out that malpractice undermines its credibility, and that of the entire education system in the country.  “We need to come out with a lot of determination to fight this scourge,” Mukasa said.              

Alex Kakooza, the Ministry of Education and Sports permanent secretary, told URN that cabinet recently passed revisions to the UNEB act, which includes stringent punishments for those involved in the malpractices.  

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Sources say this arrangement is likely to destabilize schools in Kampala Metropolitan area since the examiners tend to use school numbers.  Dokolo District Inspector of Schools, DL Okello welcomed the use of randomized numbers for primary schools, saying they will go a long way in curbing the malpractices. 

 

//Cue in: “It is going to curb down…

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Some of examination malpractices according to UNEB occur before examinations which include leakage of question paper contents through Whatsapp, and or early release/ opening of question papers by unscrupulous persons.  

During examinations, UNEB says there are instances where UNEB scouts, supervisors and invigilators are compromised through bribery and other offers, threatening violence against examination officials, external assistance from teachers, smuggling unauthorized materials by the candidate due to laxity of invigilators as well as impersonation.