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PLE: P7 candidates urged not to change diet, eat what they are used to

Learners at St Martin Primary School during briefing. PHOTO URN

P7 candidates in Kampala to remain home on exams eve, on Monday

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Schools within Kampala have told Primary Seven candidates to remain home on Monday in preparation for the national examination which will start on Tuesday, March 30, 2021.

The schools held a briefing for Primary seven candidates on Friday, and, the head teachers that URN spoke to said they decided to ask the learners to remain home and relax for a day, before sitting for the examinations. However, according to the Uganda National Examinations Board policy, teaching or coaching after the briefing of candidates is considered malpractice.

“..They have nothing to do here on Monday. They have undergone a rigorous academic programme trying to complete the syllabus,” Rogers Nambuli, the headteacher of Nakasero Primary School told URN in an interview.  But he added that while at home, the learners should be cautious and avoid eating food they are not used to.

“Your parents are going to be excited on Monday and decide to cook meals that you are not used to eating. Please take caution as you eat the food. We do not want you to start going to the toilet at the time of writing exams,” Nambuli added.

Francis Girongo, the headteacher of St Martin Primary School said that for the next three days, pupils should keep at home all-time to avoid any unfortunate occurrences. Girongo also appealed to parents to have special care for the candidates in this period and relieve them of tiresome housework to enable them to have some rest and put all the focus on the national examinations.

Geoffrey Kirabiram the Headteacher of Mulago Private School said that all activities have been closed, and learners are only expected to come to school prepared to sit for the examinations on Tuesday. The school has also released semi candidates for the Easter holidays. Similarly, David Ssegenddo, the headteacher of Buganda Road Primary School urged candidates to use the free day they have been given to organise themselves to sit for the exams.

Teachers are confident that despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 school closures, they have had enough time to prepare the pupils for the examination. Simon Baker Ayella, a science teacher at St. Martins Primary School, notes that apart from covering the primary syllabus, they have ensured that they do some remedial learning for the content of lower classes given the fact examinations are set across the entire level of learning.

Apart from briefing, the pupils were told about the random numbers. Random numbers were introduced at the Primary Leaving Examination in 2019.

During the release of the examinations last year, UNEB noted that many candidates, teachers, and supervisors had been confused with some of them using Education Management Information System-EMIS numbers attached to each school instead of the random numbers used by the Uganda National Examinations Board.

Another challenge arose from schools with different centre numbers but holding examinations on the same venue as many mixed up the random numbers. UNEB executive secretary Daniel Odongo observed that the confusion troubled their team during the examination days and also after collecting the examinations. Girongo says that for smooth activities they have emphasized the issue of random numbers to candidates.

According to the Uganda National Examinations Board, a total of  749,811 candidates are expected to sit for the examinations from 14300 examination centres. The candidates will sit for Mathematics in the morning and Social Studies in the afternoon on Tuesday and thereafter sit for Science and English the next day.

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