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Education ministry rejects Uneb move to push school opening date

Tuesday, 14th January 2014
Students of St Janan Luwum SSS sit for their UCE Geography paper in November last year

The Ministry of Education has rejected Uganda National Examinations Board’s (Uneb) request to extend the date for opening schools for first term.

Mr Francis Agula, commissioner secondary education, yesterday said Uneb is using five schools as marking centres for Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education examinations and this cannot be used to disrupt the ministry’s schedule for the country.

“Unless they are private schools but most of the marking centres are public schools. We can extend for those particular schools involved in the exercise but not the whole country. The schools will open on February 3. We have to avoid term x (extension of a school term beyond the scheduled days),” Mr Agula said. However, he added that in case a school is a marking centre, they will be compensated.

On Friday, Mr Hamis Kaheru, Uneb spokesperson, said the board would request its mother ministry to extend the date for the opening of first term to reduce on the pressure exerted on examiners after the government delayed to release funds to assist them in the marking of S.6 scripts. They urged that it would also allow teachers from private schools participate.

“Uneb will request the ministry to review reporting date for first term to allow time to schools and parents to prepare for the reporting of Senior One and Senior Five students after the late release of results and also prepare for the selection exercises for these classes,” Mr Kaheru said.

The government released Shs5.2 billion last week to clear all outstanding balances on Primary Leaving Examinations and Uganda Certificate of Education marking exercise and also push them along way in marking Uganda Advanced Certifacte Exams. Another Shs1.3b is expected this week.

The new development leaves the other three examining bodies handling technical and nursing trainings still struggling with no funds to run their activities.

Uganda Nurses and Midwifery Examination Board, Uganda Business and Technical Examination Board and Uganda Allied Health Examinations Board have told the Daily Monitor that business at their centres has stalled because they don’t have money.

For instance, the UBTEB spokesperson, Mr Paul Amoru, said although their number of students has doubled since they took over technical students from Uneb, funding has remained constant, making it difficult to provide quality education. “We have not started marking because we don’t have money. We appreciate government efforts but the reality is there is a lot of work that needs to be done and it needs enough funds,” Mr Amoru said.