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UNEB develops whistle-blower policy to fight exam malpractice

Prof. Mary Okwakol presents PLE 2018 results to Education Minister Janet Museveni. PHOTO PPU

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Uganda National Examination Board (UNEB) has announced that it is developing a Whistle-blower policy as a means to tame examination malpractice. The announcement was made after the release of the 2018 Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) results at the Prime Minister’s Office in Kampala.

The results showed that examination malpractice was still a major problem in schools across the country. As a result, the body withheld results of 3500 candidates most of who had received external assistance from teachers.

The worst cases of examination malpractice were recorded in Bundibugyo district where teachers were found either reading answers for pupils during exams or writing them on blackboards.It is alleged that each of the parents from these schools had paid 50,000 Shillings to facilitate the process.

But Prof. Mary Okwakol, the chairperson of the Uganda National Examinations Board-UNEB, says the new whistle-blowers policy encourage people to share information about such practices and ensure that examination malpractice is uprooted from the education system.

According to the 2010 Uganda Whistle-blowers Act, persons who whistle blow are not supposed to be subjected to any form of victimization by any person. Whistle blowers are also supposed to be paid five percent of the net liquidated sum of money recovered within six months.

The examination body has also procured 300 storage containers with electronic locking devices to ensure protection of examination papers. The storage containers will be installed at all its storage stations to limit the number of people of who have access to the examination papers before they are delivered to their final destination.

The UNEB Executive Secretary Daniel Odongo says that the policy is still in its draft form. He adds that once completed, it will allow people who come forward with information about malpractice to be protected.

Meanwhile, as the noose tightens on examination cheats, the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) says teachers have now emerged as the biggest culprits.

The Chair of UNEB, Prof Okwakol, while releasing the 2018 Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) in Kampala on Thursday said while anti-exam cheating measures are largely working, the new trend is for teachers to connive and give answers to candidates.

Okwakol said extreme cases of teachers reading answers to candidates were detected in eight schools in Bundibugyo District in western Uganda.

Okwakol declared that examinations are now a matter of national security, emphasizing that UNEB will continue to use security forces in the administration of examinations.

The executive secretary of UNEB, Daniel Odongo, said from now on the security forces will be heavily involved in the running of examinations.

The military and the police provided guard and undercover services for the examinations unlike in previous years.

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