July 23, 2024

Examination Malpractice: UNEB begins hearing process of withheld PLE results

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In a press statement dated June 1st 2023, the Executive Director UNEB Mr Daniel Odongo urged all heads of schools to use the seven days extension to register any additional candidates even after submission of the main list.

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The Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) has started hearing cases of schools whose Primary Leaving Examination-PLE results were withheld.

Rose Mukasa Nabukenya, the Principal Examinations Officer in charge of Primary Leaving Examinations-PLE, says that the board has invited individuals of interest from schools whose results were withheld.

“The security committee has begun the process. It is expected that for Primary Leaving Examinations, the procedure will continue until next week, which may take up to 10 days. The affected schools have already been informed of the schedules,” Nabukenya said.

During the hearings, the affected schools are asked to present candidates who are tasked to defend some of the answers that were written during the examination. If a school is able to defend itself beyond a reasonable doubt, UNEB releases the results.

However, in cases where UNEB has proof that malpractice took place, the results are canceled and students are advised to re-sit exams the following year. Often, the school also loses its UNEB center number.

Despite UNEB not releasing the exact number of PLE results that were withheld, Dan Odongo, the Executive Director of UNEB revealed that about 3,000 candidates from over 68 schools were affected.

The hearings are taking place after the selection process has been concluded, and senior one students are set to begin their term on February 20th. The delay has caused concern for the parents of the affected students.

Musa Kabogoza, a guardian of a student at Nabunga Fountain in Kyotera district, says that hearings should have been conducted either before or immediately after the results were released.

“This delayed process is going to affect our learners yet there is a possibility that many of these candidates’ results will be eventually released after realizing that they didn’t cheat,” Kabogoza said.

He further added; “they were not part of the selection process which means they might not be able to join schools of their choice on merit. Whose blame will it be if they are found innocent of malpractice?”

Kabogoza believes the delay will disenfranchise learners. However, he wants UNEB to resolve the matter quickly.

But Odongo says that if a school is suspected of malpractice, there was something was amiss. He also appealed to parents to be patient and wait until the process is completed.

He urged secondary schools to bear in mind that some results may be released later after being cleared by the security committee. Odongo also asked schools to reserve some vacancies to accommodate the candidates in case they had selected the school as the first choice, and meet the cutoff point.

During the 2022 PLE, there were reports from scouts and examiners of suspected instances of third-party assistance provided to candidates within the exam rooms and the smuggling of exam-related information by some candidates.

Additionally, there were attempts by individuals to access the exam papers during the distribution process. In the districts of Mukono, Gomba, Mpigi, and the Greater Masaka area, security officers arrested some teachers and distributors who opened the envelopes containing the examinations in order to access question papers. Over 10 of these suspects were detained in Mpigi and Masaka, while others were granted bail.

Meanwhile, clearance of 1,035 candidates from about 32 secondary schools whose Uganda Certificate of Education-UCE results were withheld are also expected to have their hearing after the release of senior six examination results.

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