The National Examinations Board (UNEB) has laid down stringent regulations for the Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) and the Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) exams, with a particular focus on ensuring integrity and security in the examination process.
A total of 749,347 candidates from 14,442 examination centers have registered for the PLE exams. Among them, 391,558 (53 percent) are females, while 357,789 (48 percent) are males.
One of the significant rules set by UNEB pertains to school fees. Head teachers and school directors have been urged to resolve school fee issues before the examination dates. UNEB emphasizes that disrupting an examination by sending away defaulters is a criminal offense under Section 30(1) of the UNEB Act 2021.
As the Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) commence, Dan Odongo, the Executive Secretary of UNEB, has issued a stern warning to invigilators and scouts. He stated that those implicated in examination malpractice will face imprisonment, in accordance with the UNEB Act 2021.
The theme for these examinations is “Integrity and security in the management of examinations is a joint responsibility.” Mr. Odongo stressed that it will not be business as usual, as Section 26(1)(g) of the UNEB Act now criminalizes examination malpractice. Invigilators, scouts, support personnel, and officials aiding candidates with special needs must prevent malpractice. If proven otherwise, they may face imprisonment for up to five years, a fine of Shs10 million, or both.
According to Mr. Odongo, there are individuals operating social media platforms, claiming to provide access to and supply PLE question papers in exchange for money. Security agencies have arrested some of these individuals, while others are currently evading capture.
The UNEB has also extended its concern to parents, urging them to fulfill their fees obligations on time. The board has the authority to offer assistance to schools with fees defaulters by blocking access to their results.
Furthermore, UNEB has announced that candidates arriving at examination centers more than 15 minutes into the exams will not be allowed to write the exams.
In addition to these regulations, UNEB has deployed 139 district monitors, 11,758 scouts, 10,664 chief invigilators, and 30,059 invigilators to oversee PLE centers. Section 25(1) and (2) and (4) of the UNEB Act 2021 provide for a maximum of ten years’ imprisonment upon conviction for examination malpractice.
Mr. Odongo revealed that there have been reports of individuals setting up social media platforms to collect money under the pretense of providing access to PLE question papers. Some of these individuals have been apprehended by security agencies, while others remain on the run.
For candidates with special needs, UNEB will provide braille question papers and answer sheets for the blind, large print question papers for those with low vision, sign language interpreters for the deaf, and transcribers for learners with dyslexia and severe physical impairments. These candidates will also receive an additional 45 minutes for each paper.
At the UACE level, a total of 110,569 candidates have registered for the 2023 exams, with 43 percent (47,227) being female and 57 percent (63,342) being male. Notably, 34 candidates from Luzira Upper Prison, comprising 4 females and 30 males, are also participating in the UACE exams, which will run from November 10 to December 1.