The Uganda National Examinations Board (Uneb) has revealed its intention to employ 60,000 people across the country to oversee the Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE). This announcement was made during a meeting with district, municipal, and city school inspectors responsible for managing the PLE.
Mr. Daniel Odongo, the Executive Director of Uneb, emphasized the challenging nature of PLE examinations due to the substantial number of candidates. He mentioned that even though PLE is conducted over two days, it feels like an extended period because of the vast number of participants.
The coordination of PLE is a collaborative effort between district inspectors of schools and Uneb. Over 200 district inspectors participated in the meeting at Uneb’s offices in Kyambogo, Kampala. During this meeting, they were granted authorization to recruit chief invigilators, invigilators, scouts, and personnel responsible for the distribution of examination papers to the examination centers.
Mr. Odongo explained the significance of these recruits, stating, “These individuals have a crucial role to play because we need to employ at least 60,000 people to handle various tasks during the exams. However, some local governments do not have the funds to facilitate them, hence we have to come in.”
In addition to this, the inspectors were provided with essential materials to be used during PLE, including timetables for all pupils, lists of examination centers and primary schools across the country, as well as exam distribution routes.
It is important to note that PLE is the second set of examinations following the Uganda Certificate of Education, which is scheduled for next month on October 16. The Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education will be the final set of examinations held in November.
Representing the Minister of Education at the function was State Minister for Sports, Peter Ogwang. He underscored the importance of preventing malpractice during the upcoming examinations and urged district inspectors to remain vigilant, particularly during the distribution phase and at the school level where exam leaks tend to occur. He emphasized the need to communicate these values to the individuals they will be recruiting, highlighting that unprofessional conduct undermines the country’s values and must be stopped.
Ms. Kellen Ayebazibwe, the chairperson of the Uganda National Inspectors Schools Association (UNISA), expressed concerns about impassable roads in remote areas, especially during the rainy season. She explained that they lack vehicles to distribute PLE materials to different examination centers, sometimes resorting to motorcycles which poses risks.
Inspectors also raised concerns about bureaucratic delays in fund processing at local governments. To address these challenges, Mr. Odongo tasked the inspectors with identifying issues likely to arise during the rainy season so that Uneb can provide the necessary financial support.