By Conan Businge
IT was just an hour to the start of final examinations last year, that 10 Senior Four candidates of Nile View realised they had not been registered for Uganda National Examinations Board examinations (UNEB).
Only eight of their colleagues, in the Jinja-based school, had been registered for the examinations. The school had no examination centre, but had registered some of its candidates to sit for their final exams in the neighbouring school, meaning the remaining lot could not sit for final examinations that year.
So, are you sure your child is registered for the forthcoming national examinations? If so, did your child pay the examination fees to a school with an examination centre?
Some schools and community examination centres were withdrawn, closed and others given a short â€˜leave of lifeâ€™ by Government to sort themselves out.
The latest status report shows that one centre was closed, six withdrawn and 27 others are on provisional basis.
It has always been the same trend every year â€” students fail to sit for national examinations after realising at the eleventh hour that their examination centres do not exist.
The national examination body has released an official status update of all secondary schoolsâ€™ examination centres in the country.
There are about 2,555 examination centres all over the country for ordinary level. About 1,239 centres will cater for Advanced level of education candidates, according to UNEBâ€™s senior examinations officer, Stephen Ocamringa.
Any student who is not attached to an examination centre registered with UNEB by now will not sit for national examinations according to Ocamringa.
Last year, there were only 2,432 Oâ€™level centres approved by the UNEB. Over time, some schoolsâ€™ examination centres have been de-registered by UNEB over malpractices.
â€œOn the new list, some examination centres were withdrawn due to malpractices or on the request of the schools,â€ Ocamringa said. Some of the examination centres which were withdrawn did not meet minimum requirements. All provisional exam papers will start this year, but must strive to meet UNEBâ€™s set standards next year.
Some head teachers have been using several loopholes to collect examination fees from students, yet they do not have examination centres. This year, 885,190 candidates will sit for national examinations, according to official figures from UNEB. This implies there are about 53,000 more students who will sit for national examinations compared to last year.
The number of candidates has also been rising every academic year. In 2009, 831,927 candidates registered for the national examinations. In 2008, about 755,302 registered.
Eva Konde, UNEBâ€™s public relations officer, says about 519,082 candidates have this year registered to sit for Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE). A total of 264,560 candidates have already registered for Oâ€™ level examinations and 101, 548 for Aâ€™ level.
There has been an increase in the number of students sitting for national examinations compared to last year. The rise is attributed to the fact that this is the first academic year students under the Universal Secondary Education (USE) programme will be sitting Senior Four final examinations.
For a full list of the UNEB registered centres log on
to http://www.enteruganda.com/ brochures/mwalimu.html