By Francis Kagolo
The Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) is once again in the spotlight for delayed payment of examiners, almost a month since they finished their work.
A cross-section of teachers who marked Senior Six (S6) and S4 exams told New Vision they had not received their pay.
Marking of the Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) exams was completed mid-December last year while the advanced certificate (UACE) exams were completed mid-January.
While releasing the Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) results three weeks ago, education minister Jessica Alupo told the press that all examiners had been paid following the release of sh6.56b for the exercise in early January.
On Tuesday, UNEB chairperson Fagil Mandy and spokesperson Hamis Kaheru reiterated that all payments had been effected, save for a few examiners whose bank account details have errors.
“It is just a few isolated cases where people gave us wrong account numbers and their money bounced,” said Kaheru.
But New Vision has learnt that although some S4 examiners were paid, majority are yet to receive their pay. A source said none of the UACE examiners has been paid.
“I am upset by UNEB and the ministry of education. Marking of exams was completed but there is no communication at all as to when we will be paid for making the exams!” one of the victims complained in a letter to New Vision.
“Some S4 groups were paid at the beginning of January but we don’t know what method has been used to select those who should be paid and those that should not be.”
According to the letter, O’ level Biology, Chemistry, Physics and religious education examiners are some of those yet to receive their pay.
“All [UNEB] officers in charge have switched off their official cell phone numbers given to us on the invitation letters. Because of this, we have nowhere to make inquiries,” said the source in the letter.
This file picture shows teachers marking UNEB exams. (SOURCE: New Vision library)
Another examiner who also preferred anonymity, said he marked A’ level Economics Paper I and that he too was yet to receive his pay.
“We have not been paid yet when we reported for marking on January 13, they [UNEB] had already received the money,” he lamented.
“I even know of a number of S4 examiners with whom we teach at the same school who have not been paid. It is disgusting to hear UNEB deceiving that they have paid us.”
Each year UNEB hires over a thousand teachers to mark PLE, UCE and UACE exams. They are paid depending on the number of scripts one marks. The pay also differs according to the nature of subject and paper marked.
Teachers who marked A’ level Economics Paper I this year were supposed to earn sh681 per script. In the current conveyor system, where a single script is marked by a group of teachers, the money is shared amongst the group members.
A source said the group with the highest speed can mark up to 500 scripts a day for two weeks, although on average each group completes 320 scripts a day.
Hitherto a progressive institution, UNEB has suffered a series of setbacks this year.
Still outstanding has been the fight for the outgoing executive secretary Matthew Bukenya’s job, which has attracted the inspectorate of government to investigate Mandy.
Mandy is accused of abusing the recruitment process by handpicking the candidates for Bukenya’s job, allegations he denies.