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Officials Fault Education Ministry For Failing to Control Examination Bureaus

Nshabwire also revealed that teachers prefer conducting private classes for children whose parents can afford to contribute towards buying set examinations instead of following the routine classroom syllabus.
The minister of state incharge of primary Education, Hon. Rosemary Sseninde addressing the press at civil service college, in Jinja district.
Municipal and Education officers under their umbrella body National Association of Municipal and District Education Officers-NAMDEO have faulted the Education and Sports Ministry for failure to draft a policy regulating the operations of examination bureaus.

According to the Education Officers, examination bureaus have led to laxity among teachers who opt to purchase examination papers for their pupils instead of setting them at school level.

Speaking at the Uganda Teacher Presence Review meeting at the Civil Service College in Jinja district on Tuesday, Esau Nshabwire, the Sheema District Education Officer who also doubles as the NAMDEO Chairperson, said most schools buy exams, which are out of context because there are limits to the exams set by the examination bureaus.

"These bureaus have no limits and our teachers have gone ahead to buy examination papers with content that is either outdated or out of context and as DEOs, we cannot do much to close them due to lack of policy guidelines from our line ministry," Nshabwire said.

He also noted with concern that most teachers no longer draft lesson plans and instead buy plans prepared by the examination bureaus, which has affected their role in their classroom activities.

Nshabwire also revealed that teachers prefer conducting private classes for children whose parents can afford to contribute towards buying set examinations instead of following the routine classroom syllabus.

Kajura Lubega, the Nakasongola District Education Officer, claimed that most education bureaus are backed by the Ministry, which makes it hard for them to reign in on their activities.

"We get calls from ministry officials instructing us to entertain examination bureaus. So even when we know that the material being sold to our teachers is inappropriate our hands are tied due to lack of a legal framework to support our actions," Kajura said.

In her response to the concerns of the district officials, the Primary Education Minister, Rosemary Sseninde, said the ministry has hired a consultant who is working towards drafting a policy to control the increasing number of examination bureaus.

"We have hired a consultant who is working together with other stakeholders to draft a policy on the control of the ever mushrooming examination bureaus that are compromising our education system," Sseninde said. 

She also promised to investigate officials in the education ministry implicated for imposing examination bureaus on schools.