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Use of random numbers at PLE a success- UNEB


FILE PHOTO: Pupils at exams

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT  | Uganda National Examination Board- UNEB has said that the use of the random number system has been a success.

Last year, UNEB introduced use of random numbers to identify examination centres instead of school names. Candidates were also given codes instead of district names.

The numbers provided by the examination body were enclosed in each examination pouch and once the pouch was opened, examination officers could then provide the number to the sitting candidates.

The said numbers, according to UNEB officials, were introduced as one of the means to increase transparency during the marking of examinations.

Prior to the system, it was rumoured that some schools were influencing examiners during the marking exercises. There were also several complaints from parents, more so in Kampala areas, that some schools had been under marked intentionally.

The UNEB chairperson Mary Okwakol says since the concept was not new at the examination board having applied it at the Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education-UACE and Uganda Certificate of Education-UCE, it has been easy for them to manage despite a few challenges faced in several districts.

During the examination, URN found out that several 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.

UNEB executive secretary Daniel Odongo observes that the confusing troubled their team during the examination days and also after collecting the examinations. Odongo says that UNEB team went through each examination pouch to ensure that the right random number had been written on the scripts.

However, Odongo is optimistic that since the practice was new at the level, a number of mistakes were expected.

The random number concept was adapted in 2014 with a view of making it too difficult for an examiner to identify which school they are assessing thus limiting bias and possible leniency.

Malpractice in national examination remains a big vice with the examination board working tiresomely to cover all the loose end.

With several interventions, the number of malpractice case per examination process is dropping.

This year a total of 1,512 PLE Candidates’ results have been withheld on grounds of suspected Malpractice compare to 3,500 in 2019.



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