By Charles Etukuri
UGANDA National Examination Board (UNEB) is asking for an extension of the school holidays to allow them complete the marking of exams and also allow parents adequately prepare for the reporting of S1 and S5 students.
A statement released on Friday evening states that the examination body would on Monday formally request the Ministry of Education and Sports to review the date for the opening of first term to a date beyond February 4, 2014.
UNEB says the move would help avoid inconveniencing the schools which are hosting the marking exercise and also allow enough time to prepare for the selection exercises for S1 and S5 students.
It further says that the move would reduce the pressure that may be exerted on the Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) examiners due to the tight time lines that have been set and also enable examiners from private schools to participate in the exercise.
Last week, the examination body suspended marking of the 2013 UACE exams, which was supposed to start on January 2, 2014, while examiners who marked 2013 PLE and UCE examinations left without being paid due to inadequacy of funding from the Government.
However, the body announced that the Government had remitted the funds.
“On Thursday January 9, 2014 at around 6:00pm, sh5.2b reached the UNEB bank account. This money will be sufficient to clear all outstanding balances on PLE and UCE marking exercise and also push us a long way on marking UACE exams. The marking fees for all PLE examiners have been processed and should be on their bank accounts in due course,” reads the statement.
The examination body said they had lost three weeks as a result of delayed remittance of the funds.
“Consequently, we note that some examiners, especially those from private schools, may see our UACE marking programme as not convenient because those schools tend to open earlier than the official opening date of the term. This is likely to affect the turnup and prolong the marking exercise,” the statement said.
UNEB also said all other outstanding payments related to PLE and UCE exams, which are due to examiners, marking centres and other suppliers, were being processed.
Marking of UACE exams starts on Monday and UNEB expects to receive another sh1.3b next week, which, in addition to the sh5.3b, will be sufficient to cover all expenses related to marking PLE, UCE and UACE exams for 2013.
The body hopes to release the PLE results by January 30, 2014, while UCE would be released in the third week of February, followed by UACE results.