By John Agaba
The ministry of finance has confirmed that it released sh6.56 billion to the ministry of education to facilitate the marking of P.7, S.4 and S.6 examinations.
A letter dated January 2 addressed to the permanent secretary ministry of education, Dr. Rose Nassali, shows that sh6.56b was released for the marking of the exams.
This followed the request by the education minister, Jessica Alupo, for additional money totaling sh6.56b to cater for examination expenses.
When contacted, education ministry’s commissioner for communication, Patrick Muinda, said the finance ministry had released the money.
“I talked to the minister [Jessica Alupo]. She confirmed that the ministry of finance had released the money,” he said.
He, however, could not immediately confirm whether the money had reached the education ministry’s bank accounts. He explained that he needed to crosscheck with the accounts department.
“When money is sent from finance to education you cannot expect to get it the next day,” he said. “There are processes and procedures that govern how the money moves from one government entity to another. We have to wait, the money will surely come.”
But, the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) insist that they have not yet received any money, a move likely to delay the exercise and release of the exam results.
UNEB’s publicist, Hamis Kaheru, said the lack of funds had set the body behind schedule by about two weeks.
Marking of A’ Level exams was slated to start on January 2, but up to now it has not yet commenced, said Kaheru. He could not confirm when the body will embark on the exercise, only saying “another date will be communicated.”
According to Kaheru, the delay is also likely to affect the release of PLE and O’ Level examination results, whose marking is complete, awaiting tallying.
UNEB had planned to release the PLE results on January 16 and the O’ Level results at the end of January.
“I cannot say we shall release the results next week. It is not possible,” added Kaheru.
Unconfirmed reports, however, say that Nassali visited UNEB yesterday and asked them to release the results as per schedule.
Kaheru said that the education ministry had earlier released sh500m to the body, but he described this as a ‘drop in the ocean.’
“We have to cater for the accommodation of the examiners, their transport and other bills,” he said.
He said that the examiners who handled PLE and O’ Level examinations were not paid, before they broke off for Christmas, about two weeks ago. They have not yet been paid today.
He said all senor examiners who were set to handle A’ Level examinations were notified through text messages not to travel to Kampala for the marking exercise, unless otherwise notified.
Apart from the money given by the Government, UNEB also raises funds through the registration fees paid by the candidates.
Kaheru explained that there was a move to increase the fees, but that the government halted the process.
He said with additional fees from increment of registration fees, the body would have had some money in its coffers during the examination exercise.