Professor Celestino Obua, the Vice Chancellor of Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) has been appointed the new Chairperson of the Uganda Examinations Board (UNEB).
Professor Obua’s appointment was announced by Education Minister Janet Museveni and was subsequently sworn in during a Friday afternoon board meeting convened at the UNEB headquarters in Ntinda.
During the inauguration, Museveni in her speech delivered by the minister of state for higher education John Chrysostom Muyingo cautioned the new chairperson regarding the new responsibilities and the anticipated challenges.
She underscored the institution’s strategic significance to the government, given its central role in Human Capital Development.
Professor Obua assumes his role following the end of Professor Mary Okwakol’s tenure who has led the examination body since 2014.
His appointment comes at a crucial time when UNEB needs to adapt its assessment methods to align with the new curriculum and consider the integration of continuous assessments conducted at the school level.
Janet Museveni emphasized that, “the significance of this task, the new Chairperson must ensure the assessment process is both valid and reliable to ensure that the national certificates issued by UNEB to successful candidates attain universal recognition,”
The First Lady praised the outgoing Chairperson for her unwavering leadership during difficult periods marked by budget constraints and crises like epidemics and the COVID-19 pandemic.
She noted that, “despite these challenges, the organization achieved success and maintained an impeccable record without any scandals,”
“Under Professor Okwakol’s leadership, the board achieved some milestones, including the enactment of the long-stalled UNEB Act. This new legislation redefined the board’s functions, restructured the board’s membership, and granted it expanded powers”
Furthermore, she noted that it introduced more stringent sanctions to deter examination malpractice and broadened the range of offenses covered by the Act.
In addition, during the same period, the board passed and implemented 12 policies aimed at addressing various challenges, including the Whistleblowers Policy, which has proven to be an effective tool in combating malpractice.
Professor Okwakol expressed her gratitude to the appointing authority for giving her the opportunity to lead. However, she also candidly addressed her successor and the appointing authority, highlighting the pressing challenges that the board faces and which require urgent attention.
Dan Odongo, the UNEB Executive Director, also commended Professor Okwakol for her leadership.
He noted that, “her tenure had brought about peaceful years and a lack of interference in the management functions of the board. Under her leadership, the organization experienced stability and autonomy, contributing to its overall effectiveness,”
Upon assuming office, Professor Obua conveyed his acceptance of the role and emphasized that his leadership would be characterized by collaboration and teamwork.
Obua will be heading the 11th board of the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB).
It’s worth noting that the rest of the board members are continuing their service, having been inaugurated on the board last year.