The Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) has released the official examination timetables for the 2020, Primary Leaving Examination (PLE); Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE), and Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE).
The 2020 examinations are being held in 2021 because of the need to make up for time lost by the candidates during the lock down due to COVID-19.
According to the timetable released by Dan Odongo the UNEB Executive Secretary, Uganda Certificate of Educations (UCE) examinations starting with briefing on February 26th February 2021. Candidates will sit the first paper on 1st March and last one on 6th April 2021.
These will be followed by Primary Leaving Examinations which will take place from March 26th to March 31st 2021.
Pupils will undergo briefing on Friday March 26th and sit the exams on March 30th and 31st.
Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) examinations shall come last with briefing on 9th April 2021. Candidates will consequently sit the first paper on April 12th and final paper on 3rd May 2021.
The 2020 Examinations will be held under the Theme; “Integrity and security in the management of examinations; the health and safety of learners is a joint responsibility”.
According to Odongo, this year’s theme has been modified to emphasise the health and safety of learners. However, it also speaks to the health and safety of everyone involved in conducting these examinations.
“The theme highlights integrity and security because globally, we are being faced with the challenge of declining ethical values and morals. It should be noted that the credibility of the examination body rests on the authenticity of the procedures, processes and practices under which the examinations have been conducted. This calls for utmost integrity, the quality of being honest, on the part of those involved at the various levels and the enhancement of security in all aspects of examination management. Accordingly, UNEB is working with various security agencies to ensure that the security of the examinations is guaranteed” Odongo said.
On the issues of health and safety, Odongo says the Board is emphasising that efforts must be made by all concerned to observe the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) as prescribed by the Ministry of Health (MoH).
“But other than COVID-19, we are also concerned about the overall health, safety and general wellbeing of both the candidates and everyone involved in the examination process. We would like to underscore attributes good feeding/ proper nutrition to ensure strong body immunity against any form of illness; time keeping for those coming from home, to avoid rush hour moments that can easily lead to accidents; as well as ensuring general the mental and spiritual wellbeing of both the candidates and those conducting the examinations” Odongo added.
A total of one million, one hundred eighty-one thousand, and nine hundred sixty-five candidates (1,181,965) have been registered for all the three levels. Of these, 51.1% are females.
At the PLE level, 353,942 male candidates and 395,869 female candidates have been registered bringing the total to 749,811. At UCE level, 166,294 are male candidates while 167,481 of the candidature is made of female candidates bringing the total to 333,775. At UACE, 57,167 candidates are male while 41,212 are females bringing the total to 98,379.
UNEB also strongly warned all persons who are contemplating any involvement in examination malpractice, that the Board will be very harsh on them this time round.
“We must recognize the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected learners. While we are confident that the candidates have what it takes to pass this year’s examinations, we would want to get the actual picture of the effect of COVID-19 on the work and performance of candidates. Although we do not condone examination malpractice under any circumstances, involvement in examination malpractice this season would be a great dis-service to the nation and the learners” Odongo said.
Adding that it will distort the real picture that UNEB, and indeed the Ministry of Education and Sports, will want to see and may also lead to the results of the candidates being cancelled, which would be very unfortunate considering what the candidates have already gone through, due to COVID-19.
He warned that the Board will therefore treat very harshly anyone who will indulge in examination malpractice. “We have asked the Ministry of Education and Sports to take stern administrative action against any head teacher and/or teacher that will, overtly or covertly fuel examination malpractice. We must also warn against the temptation to buy fake papers which are generated by unscrupulous teachers. Reports indicate that in Mubende area so-called PLE papers are being sold for shs 100,000. Security will investigate this to stop the perpetrators from fleecing the gullible members of the public” Odongo revealed.