First Lady and Education Minister Janet Kataaha Kainembabazi Museveni has directed the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) to set a special Mathematics Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) paper for the 23 P7 candidates of St. Christine Primary School who missed the exam over transport challenges.
The PLE set of national exams, comprising four examination papers, was conducted on November 08 and 09, 2022, with hundreds of thousands sitting at 14,153 Examination Centres spread across the country. Of these centres, a total of 11,306 centres, equivalent to 80 per cent of all centres, were at government aided schools under the Universal Primary Education (UPE) Program.
The rest of the examination centres, 2,847 (equivalent to 20 per cent), were at private schools, officially called the Non-UPE schools. A private school, St Christine Primary School does not have a Uneb centre number. It candidates were registered at Mpasana Primary School.
But 23 of the 26 candidates from St Christine Primary School were unable to sit their Mathematics Paper because their director refused to provide them with transport for the 16km journey between St Christine PS and Mpasana PS where they were supposed to sit the end of primary level papers. Lucky for three of their colleagues, they had relatives nearby and stayed at their homes, enabling them to arrive in time for their exams.
For the 23 candidates, after their director switched off his phone, it became clear that they were on their own regarding the issue of transportation to the UNEB centre. They were left with no option but to walk the 16km journey. They would arrive at Mpasana Primary School 1 hour and 16 minutes after the commencement of the mathematics examination, ” essentially making them late for the paper, and were therefore not allowed to sit the paper,” according to UNEB spokesperson Jennifer Kalule Musamba.
UNEB’s Kalule further explained that the Board’s regulations make it clear that “any candidate who comes after 15 minutes from the start of the Examination MUST NOT be allowed to sit the examination.
To resolve the matter and ensure that the candidates receive justice, UNEB had directed the Kakumiro District Inspector of Schools to submit a “full report of what transpired to enable management ascertain the circumstances under which the candidates failed to write their paper
UNEB had also insisted on meeting the leaders from the district and on making several consultations with relevant stakeholders before reaching a decision on the fate of the PLE candidates.
But now, Minister Janet Museveni has directed UNEB to set a special paper for 23 candidates of St. Christine Primary School. Uneb was yet to reveal details on when and where the paper would be sat. It should be remembered that the current school term will end soon after Minister Janet Museveni announced the official date for the early closure of schools after Ebola killed eight (08) Ugandan children.
Meanwhile, Minister Janet Museveni has also released the 2023 Academic Calendar showing when students will return to schools, and indicating how long each term and school holiday will take.