Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Uganda National Examination Board-UNEB experienced a technical glitch on the last day of the Primary Leaving Examinations- PLE resulting to a number of schools receiving fewer or more examination scripts compared to the number of registered candidates.
Some of the affected schools were Nakasero Primary School, St Martin KCCA Primary School in Mulago and Kitante Primary School.
Rogers Nambuli, the headteacher Nakasero Primary School, says when they noticed that ten scripts were missing, they informed the KCCA area supervisor.
“We were racing against time as pupils were already in the room waiting to start. We had to call the area supervisor and the team at KCCA who directed us on what to do. I had to drive to Bat Valley in the company of the invigilator to pick scripts,” Nambuli narrates.
Surprisingly, Bat Valley Primary School who had registered 90 candidates had received over 100 scripts.
Dan Odongo, the Executive Secretary UNEB who declined to reveal that exact technological glitch says that it will not happen again.
Examination papers are printed at the UNEB printer in Kyambogo where they are supposed to be packed in different UNEB assigned envelopes. At the printery, scripts for each school are sent according to the number of candidates registered by UNEB. The examination body also includes an excess of two papers in case of an emergency.
However, a source at UNEB who preferred anonymity explains that at the printery, there are different machines that play different roles in the examination printing process. Some machines print the examinations, while others count the scripts according to a preset number.
The machine at Kyambogo counts examination papers in batches of 50. After which, a UNEB member of staff places the scripts in envelops depending on the number of registered students in a given centre.
“In a case where a centre needs for example 115 examination papers, it’s the duty of the packing officers to pick 15 additional scripts from a batch of 50 and supplement,” says the source.
Odongo says that despite having put in place systems like online registration to reduce on human error when entering in school details during registration, mistakes at times happen.
“We still have schools that use the old paper method and mistakes can take place when the figures are being entered into the system. That is why we send an extra to papers to cover for any mistakes. In case where no emergency arises, the papers are left for the school for revision purposes,” Odongo explained.
According to UNEB, in situations where fewer examination papers are sent to school, examination invigilators and the head of the examination centre are supposed to notify the area supervisors who contacts UNEB and if more copies are available, they are sent to the school but if they are not, photocopying might be the next best option.