By Taddeo Bwambale
The Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) has dismissed reports that electronic equipment used for processing students’ examination results had malfunctioned.
UNEB’s Executive Secretary, in a press statement Wednesday said the institution had not suffered the setback which was feared to cause a delay in releasing results of last year’s exams.
“The top official quoted in the story as saying that ‘scanners used in compilation and computation of final examination results had crashed” gave wrong information and was not speaking on behalf of UNEB,” Bukenya stated.
“The scanners used at UNEB are never used for compilation and computation of results. They are used only for capturing results from optical mark reader sheets. At the time of doing this the scanners never crashed and are working well,” he said.
Bukenya maintained that the scanning of mark sheets was ‘progressing normally.’
“Technically, the optical mark reader used by UNEB cannot crash. The information attributed to the official was a figment of his or her imagination,” he explained.
UNEB’s chairperson, Fagil Mandy was quoted on Tuesday stating that the institution’s scanner had ‘crashed’ raising concern that this would delay the release of results for last year’s exams.
Bukenya confirmed that a technician from South Africa had arrived in the country to service the scanners, but said this was part of a ‘routine maintenance visit.’
“UNEB has a running maintenance contract with a South African firm and over the last 10 years technicians from that firm have always visited UNEB twice a year to service the scanners and ensure that they continue to run efficiently,” Bukenya stated.
He said marking of examinations and processing results at the Secretariat was ongoing, in spite of a delay to release funds for the exercise on time.
“As soon as the funds were received, marking of UACE examinations started immediately and some of the UACE examiners have completed and are beginning to leave marking centres,” he said.
He said reports that about the alleged breakdown of computers at UNEB had created the impression that there was a deliberate attempt of sabotage by the Secretariat.
“Such insinuations by anybody are outrageous and should be treated with the contempt they deserve,” he remarked.
Bukenya assured the public that efforts were being made to ensure results are released as per schedule. Results for Primary Seven exams are expected to be released on January 30.