Odongo explains that while the number or candidates who had access to the leaked exams is still unknown, UNEB can comfortably say very few candidates actually used the leaked papers to pass their examinations.
Despite the leakage of the Uganda Certificate of Education-UCE examinations last year, it didn't affect the performance of candidates, according to Uganda National Examinations Board-UNEB. The leaked exams included Biology; Christian Religious Education and Chemistry.
The leaked papers circulated on social media drawing outrage from the public and UNEB officials. However, the UNEB Executive Secretary, Dan N Odongo, says reports from the chief examiners show that there was nothing alarming in the performance of candidates.
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He explains that while the number or candidates who had access to the leaked exams is still unknown, UNEB can comfortably say very few candidates actually used the leaked papers to pass their examinations.
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According to UNEB, 81 people were picked up last year in connection to the examination malpractice. 49 appeared in court and are currently out on bail, 21 jumped police bond and 11 are still in court.
Alex Kakooza, the Education Ministry Permanent Secretary, says all teachers involved in the exam malpractice have already been indicted by the ministry. "The moment any teacher was named in the malpractice, we took action and indicted them. We plan to deal with them to the full extent of the law,” he said.
The examination body has withheld examination results of 4,525 candidates from 112 examination centers due to examination malpractice. The most common form of examination malpractice recorded was external assistance. Other forms include collusion and smuggling of unauthorized materials into the examination room.
The highest cases of examination malpractice were reported in science subjects with Biology being the most affected with 39.7 percent followed by Physics with 20.1 percent, Chemistry with 10.3 percent and mathematics. 6.7 percent.
Odongo says the extent of the examination leakage was high because the examinations were shared on social media. "When you have people sharing examinations in social media, it means that almost everyone who owns a smart phone will get the examinations. In this case, so many people who did not even need the examinations got them,” he said.
Odongo refuted rumours that have been circulating on social media that the release of the examination results was delayed due to the leaked examinations. "We delayed to release the results because we were making arrangements to enable heads of schools to go with pass slips as they come to pick physical results from our offices,” he said.
A total of 320,119 candidates sat last year's UCE examinations from 3,332 examination centers. According to the results, there was remarkable improvement in the candidate's performance compared to the previous year. 287,460 candidates passed the exams compared to 276,977 in 2016. 27,955 failed in 2017 compared to 41,632 in 2016.