Uganda National Examination Board (UNEB) is to convict any person found in illegal possession of any examination paper, material, or information that purports to relate to the contents of any examination paper.
The Board said any person who commits the offence is liable to pay a fine of Shs40 million or imprisonment of not more than ten years as accorded by the UNEB Act 2021 that is to be implemented from this year onwards.
Launching the commencement of the 2022 Uganda Certificate of Education examination (UCE), Dan Odong, the Executive Director of UNEB, highlighted that the Board has partnered with various security agencies and professionals to curb malpractice tendencies.
“The Board will deploy 1, 595 security officers, 1, 611 scouts and 22, 214 supervisors and invigilators. While high levels of integrity is expected from those we are working with, UNEB strongly warns against involvement in any form of examination malpractice. Anyone found culpable will be dealt with following provisions of the UNEB Act 2021,” he said.
Citing other offences in the act, Odong said any person who willfully or negligently assists a candidate to obtain or gain unauthorized possession of an examination paper or material is similarly liable to paying Shs40 million or imprisonment of not more than 10 years.
In both cases, he said, this penalty will apply whether the examination paper or material is genuine or not.
Regarding the candidates who are the key players in sitting these examinations, Odong said that any student found in the involvement of malpractice in one paper will face cancellation of his or her other results for the rest of the whole examination.
UNEB has, therefore, set up a compensation policy to protect whistle-blowers from victimization, that’s in case their information shared with the authority is proven to be accurate.
Furthermore, with the prevailing situation of the outbreak of the Ebola virus in the country, Odong appealed to heads of UNEB centres to ensure that Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) provided by the ministry of health on covid 19 and Ebola, are adhered to.
“A hand washing facility should also be put outside the examination room for candidates to wash their hands as they enter the examination room. Sanitisers, where available, should be placed at the checking point for the invigilators to sanitize after checking every student,” he added.
In subject to school fees defaulting candidates, UNEB has appealed to heads of centres to avoid the act of pulling candidates out of the examination rooms in the course of the examination. The authority promises to work with schools to put in place measures to assist them to recover their fees.
UCE examinations which will commence on Monday 17th October 2022, shall begin with a briefing which will be held on Friday 14th to Sunday 16th of the same month, which will be aligned to the national prayers and dedication for the candidates and examination process.
According to UNEB, a total of 349,445 candidates were registered from 3,703 examination centres. Of these 175,923 (50.3%) are males, while 173,522 (49.7%) are females. 519 of the candidates are Special Needs Education (SNE) candidates, whose preparations have already been made by the authority.
This year’s examination will be conducted under the theme, “Integrity and Security in the management of Examinations; the health and safety of learners is a joint responsibility.”