The director and teacher at Kisugu High School, Celestine Kasolo, found himself facing legal action following allegations of disturbances at an examination center and the wrongful confinement of senior four candidates. The Makindye Chief Magistrates Court has remanded Kasolo to Luzira Prison on 12 charges related to these accusations.
Kasolo was brought before Grade One Magistrate Igga Adiru. The prosecution, led by State Attorney Carol Opa, detailed the charges against Kasolo, stating that on October 26th, 2023, he wrongfully detained six candidates who were scheduled to take their final examinations at Kisugu High School. This incident disrupted the examination process in Makindye Division, Kampala District, which had been designated as an examination center.
The candidates who suffered the consequences of this disruption and missed their biology exam are Daniel Achom, Robert Ojambo, Al Mahad Saddick, Nicholas Orionzi, Calvin Onyango, and Simon Peter Mandiko. Kasolo, however, has denied these charges and will remain remanded until November 12, 2023, when a bail hearing will take place.
Additionally, the same court has charged Abdul Karim Sseguya, also known as Fresh Karim, a site helper and resident of Gangu A Zone Busabala Road Makindye Ssabagabo, with unauthorized possession of examination materials. It is alleged that during October 2023, Fresh Karim, through social media accounts, unlawfully possessed UNEB materials or information related to the contents of UCE 2023. Similar to Kasolo, Fresh Karim has denied these charges.
This incident is not an isolated one. In the past, several individuals, including headteachers, have faced legal action over alleged examination malpractice. The problem of examination malpractice has become increasingly prevalent in Uganda, leading to the withholding of thousands of examination results each year.
Experts suggest that one of the root causes of this issue is the commercialization of the education sector, which has gradually seeped into Uganda’s educational system. Weak legal frameworks have also been blamed for the problem.
In an effort to combat this issue, the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) has introduced a new Act that establishes a more robust mechanism for detecting and tracking suspected malpractice. This has resulted in the arrest, prosecution, and sentencing of several individuals involved in examination malpractice.
Notably, last year, UNEB uncovered a scheme involving teachers from Masaka who allegedly leaked Primary Leaving Examination (PLE) scripts to candidates via social media. Furthermore, another group was apprehended on the examination day while attempting to unlawfully open a sealed PLE parcel with the intention of capturing images and sharing them with their students before the exams.
In addition to those who leaked UNEB papers, there have been instances of fake examination papers circulating on various social media platforms just days before candidates were scheduled to sit for their exams.
The current examination cycle involves a total of 1,224,371 candidates who are registered to take their final examinations across the three education levels: Primary Leaving Examination (PLE), Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE), and Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE). UCE exams began on October 13 and will continue until November 17, 2023, while PLE is scheduled for November 7 to 9, 2023, and UACE will take place from November 10 to December 1, 2023. These examinations play a crucial role in the education system of Uganda, and any disruptions have significant consequences.