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Charge exam cheating school managers with corruption

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Added 21st February 2018 01:43 PM

Schools are a key socialization center that is so critical in shaping the national moral character. And if we were to seriously mitigate moral decadency and reform society, schools must play a central role to this activity.

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Swaib K Nsereko

Schools are a key socialization center that is so critical in shaping the national moral character. And if we were to seriously mitigate moral decadency and reform society, schools must play a central role to this activity.

Uganda National Examination Board (UNEB) is investigating schools alleged to have engaged in examination fraud of the 2017 Uganda certificate of education (UCE).

Schools are a key socialization center that is so critical in shaping the national moral character. And if we were to seriously mitigate moral decadency and reform society, schools must play a central role to this activity.

The school is expected to fine-tune a country’s moral integrity; not to corrupt it. To this end, even the national curriculum development center (NCDC) must develop and add a study module that introduces learners to the dangers of corruption contrary to perpetuating it.

But today if we were to ask: in whose interest does a school engage in examination cheating? Is it the learner, parent, country or proprietor? Most certainly, it’s the owner and managers—who expect to gain from increased learner enrollment resulting in maximum revenue collection—at the expense of national interests. This is corruption—variously defined as unethical conduct by those entrusted with authority, often to acquire private gain. So the culprits must face the law accordingly. 

How Schools Have Ruined Our Society

Sustaining examination-cheating practices over the last three decades, has made schools churn out millions of mediocre graduates in the nation’s labor space. These graduates are, many of the officials in important public offices today—but whose mindset was, from school days—throughout final examination period, shaped to be deceitful and at best a fraud star! They are officials who can hardly recite the three stanzas of the national anthem. And are women and men whose special talents were ‘killed’ and not helped to develop by their respective schools.   

Corruption in Uganda is nurtured from the school! Right from the first entry-day that is greeted with multiple questionable sub-fees, besides the main school fees—to the final examination day. Instead of refined manners, to buttress those obtained from the family unit, the school is exposing a leaner to practices of resource fleecing and fraud.

In student politics, the school hardly reprimands candidates who use money and gifts, not intellect, to attract votes in their favor. How would such leaders disengage from vote-buying at national level?

In normal societies, school administrators that care to pursue a sense of nationalism, are stern against student engagement in mal-electoral practices in their politics. They disqualify such candidates from the race. This way, they contribute to shaping a better democratic path of their country. The reverse, which is the prevailing situation is the reality in Uganda.

Learning Practice Outcomes

This majorly goes to the media. As we head toward a first world nation in a few decades ahead—thanks to our enormous resources—uranium, tin, iron, copper, gold, fertile lands, giant-wild beasts, oil and gas, young labor force, hydro-energy, conducive weather conditions—that have begun to attract billions of dollar inflows; as a people we must change accordingly-from a rudiment-immoral society to a civilized-modern one. Its old fashioned for the media to get awash with examination results of schools and candidates without showing tangible/physical outcomes of that learning process.

Since 2007, for example, the taxpayer has been paying for the training of a basic scientist-in the core science subjects of mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology etcetera at ordinary and advanced levels of education (O &A-levels). A decade later today, where are these scientists, what have they produced for the nation, what challenges do they face—what are the gaps in the policy and finally which schools are having an edge in terms of preparation to meet this century’s educational needs? These are the relevantly hard questions of accountability that the media must put to the managers of our education system on behalf of citizens, during the annual ritual of releasing national examination results. The industrial world that we are about to enter seeks to see physical skilled personnel emerging from our education system who are beyond examination scores from cheating.

By merely showing examination results in the media is an out-of-date story that has offered no value addition to the nation—save catapulting corruption in favor of unscrupulous school proprietors.  

The writer is a lecturer in Mass Communication Dept at Islamic University in Uganda and National Coordinator of the Moral Reform Movement-MRM                      

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