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Ministry of Education: We Can't Scrap Pre Entry Exams

The Ministry of Education and National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) have explained that they cannot do much about pre- entry exams in universities.
Education Ministry Permanent Secretary Alex Kakooza with the Chairperson of the Education Committee in Parliament Jacob Opolot.

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The Ministry of Education and National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) have said that they cannot do much about pre-entry exams in universities. 

Officials from the education ministry and NCHE had appeared before the Education Committee on Thursday chaired by Pallisa County MP Jacob Opolot to present budget estimates for the coming financial year 2019/2020. 

During separate presentations to the committee, MPs raised issues with the issuance of pre-entry exams especially to law students even after being graded by the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB). 

Kalungu West MP Joseph Sewungu said that parliament has consistently objected to pre-entry exams in various universities but these continue to be subjected to students even passing the A-level exams. 

He told officials of the education committee led by Minister Janet Museveni that the exams have increased cases of corruption in universities and should be abolished. 

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Opolot said that the pre-entry exams undermine the mandate and results issued by the UNEB.

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Opolot together with Sewungu and Kashari South MP, Nathan Itungo revealed that during the time for pre-entry exams, money is extorted from students in different parts of Kampala City by people who purport to sell exams to them.

The MPs demanded that government weighs in on the matter. 

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Dr. Alex Kagume, the Acting Executive Director, NCHE said that the admission procedure for students in university is beyond their mandate and that pre-entry exams are carried out by professional bodies who have the mandate to do so.

He added that NCHE works with professional bodies carrying out pre-entry exams only on the case of accreditation of programs.

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Alex Kakooza, the Education Ministry Permanent Secretary also agreed with Dr. Kagume saying that the universities have academic freedom which deters them from interfering with some programs.

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Universities which include Makerere University, Uganda Christian University (UCU) and Law Development Centre (LDC) introduced pre-entry exams for students intending to pursue a Bachelor of Laws and for graduates of law at LDC. 

The Makerere University School of Medicine in 2016 also proposed to the University Council the issue of pre-entry exams for medical graduates who are to be enrolled as interns however their proposal is yet to be considered. 

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