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Monday,August 03,2020 07:52 AM

Exam Body Focuses On PLE

By Vision Reporter

Added 10th November 2002 03:00 AM

National exams are underway. As is usually the case, this is an intense period for all parties involved including the candidates, teachers and government.

National exams are underway. As is usually the case, this is an intense period for all parties involved including the candidates, teachers and government.

UNEB and Government has deployed 7,000 scouts to oversee the examination exercise at primary level

By Stephen Ssenkaaba

National exams are underway. As is usually the case, this is an intense period for all parties involved including the candidates, teachers and government.
For the students, all that matters during this period is scoring good grades that will see them through to the next level. For the teachers it is all about registering maximum success for candidates so as to earn a good reputation for their schools. The Government, on the other hand, is more concerned about the proper administration of these exams.
Under all this, however, lies a big problem. A problem that has dogged the country’s examination system for years on end without a solution. The problem of examination malpractices.
For so many years our education system has been faced with examination malpractices at all education levels including primary, secondary and tertiary levels. The commonest cases of exam malpractices include leaking of examination papers to candidates before the exam, teacher/invigilator aided copying during the exam, impersonation among other practices.
In spite of this, the Government each year comes up with regulations to govern the administration of national exams. This time a lot of emphasis has been put on Primary Leaving Exams (PLE).
Through the Uganda National Examination Board (UNEB), Government has deployed 7,000 scouts to oversee the examination exercise at Primary level.
This, according to Eve Konde, the UNEB public relations officer, is because of the high rate of malpractices at this level as compared to others.
“We have been forced to increase the number of scouts to 7,000 for PLE exams because of the worsening situation at this level. Last year alone, we cancelled 12,065 PLE results due to malpractices and this raised a lot of concern from Parliament, government and parents. So we thought that increasing the number of scouts to 7,000 would be one of the means to help in stopping cheating.
“Previously, UNEB has been using just about 300 scouts to monitor PLE exams. But we discovered that this number was not sufficient to cover all the sitting centres in the country. Sometimes we would have one scout covering more than one centre, while other centres would not have any scout, which could also have increased malpractices. But now this is going to change, she said.
There are about 7,000 sitting centres for PLE. According to Konde there will be one scout for each centre in the country.
The work of these scouts will be to monitor the administration of exams in various sitting centres in the country with the purpose of cracking down on all exam cheats.
To ensure efficiency on their job, UNEB, working with District Inspectors of Schools, has recruited people of high integrity and experience to be scouts.
“First of all these people should be known to the District Inspectors of Schools as people of high integrity and experience in the field of education.
Preference has been given to trained UNEB examiners at all levels, coordinating centre tutors and senior teachers and lecturers from different institutions.
“They should also be dedicated and ready to work in different parts of the country,” she said of the criteria for selection of these scouts.
In order to reaffirm their commitment to the job, these scouts will be required to sign declaration forms. These will hold them liable for punishment should there be any form of malpractice in their centres of operation.
The scouts will also be required to submit application forms with their passport size photographs to their District Inspectors of Schools to be forwarded to UNEB. They will then be distributed to work in different districts throughout the country.
“We shall ensure that these people are posted to districts very far away from their home districts. We hope that if they operate in districts other than their own, they will not be tempted to engage in malpractices,” she said.
While she could not disclose how much each scout would be paid for their work, Konde said that they would be paid per diem.
“Of what help will it be to you if I told you how much the scouts will be paid?” she asked.

While all the efforts to curb examination malpractices seem to be focused on PLE, UNEB says the measures will be equally tough for both ‘O’ and ‘A’ levels.
“We shall also have scouts for ‘O’ and ‘A’ level exams but not as many as those for PLE.
In addition to employing scouts, UNEB in conjunction with the Ministry of Education and Sports has spelt out penalties to all those who may be caught cheating in exams at all levels.
These include prosecution, jailing and deregistering of students, teachers, headteachers and all those who may have assisted in the cheating of exams.
For private schools, any engagement in exam malpractices will result in the closure and cancellation of a license for such schools, while for Government schools, cheating will result in the dismissal of the headteacher and teachers involved. Ends

Exam Body Focuses On PLE

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