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UNEB Tasks Local Governments on PLE Distribution :: Uganda Radionetwork

UNEB Tasks Local Governments on PLE Distribution

Dan Odongo, the Executive Director of UNEB, stressed the sensitivity of the distribution process and called upon local governments to provide the necessary logistics for a secure and trusted transportation mechanism.
07 Nov 2023 16:44
Dan N Odongo, the Executive Director UNEB

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The Uganda National Examinations Board-UNEB has issued a crucial advisory to local government authorities, emphasizing the importance of their role in guaranteeing a seamless distribution of the Primary Leaving Examination (PLE) papers. With primary education decentralized, local governments play a pivotal role even in the examination process. 

For instance, they oversee the distribution of papers from storage facilities to examination centers. Dan Odongo, the Executive Director of UNEB, stressed the sensitivity of the distribution process and called upon local governments to provide the necessary logistics for a secure and trusted transportation mechanism.

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Odongo made the remarks during the commissioning of the PLE and UACE examinations on Friday afternoon. PLE has commenced today with a briefing of candidates, while UACE candidates will be briefed on Friday this week. During the address, the Executive Director urged local governments to carefully select individuals, preferably existing local government workers in relevant departments, to ensure accountability in the distribution role. He expressed concern over instances where the distribution task had been entrusted to individuals without the necessary credentials, such as boda boda riders, risking the integrity of the examination papers.

//Cue in: “Unlike the USE. 

Cue out...exercise.”// While UNEB has been actively combating examination leakage, the distribution process has remained a vulnerable point. Often, unscrupulous schools exploit this weakness, copying examination content while it is in transit. This illicit practice is most prevalent in rural areas, where storage facilities are opened earlier, with culprits sharing examination content through social media and other means.

During last year’s PLE a school head in Wakiso was apprehended red-handed in Mpigi district, having paid distributors to gain access to PLE papers hours before the examination. The headteacher and the distributor were intercepted as they were about to share the examination content on WhatsApp.

UNEB's efforts to combat malpractice have been bolstered by new legislation imposing severe penalties on those found guilty of such activities. Suspects have been actively pursued, leading to numerous court appearances and convictions. In addition to addressing distribution issues, Odongo urged vigilance among district monitors, scouts, and invigilators to curb other forms of malpractice more so those that happen during the examination. On this matter, he also cautioned invigilators not to participate in or cover up malpractice, as they could be held liable under examination laws if Uneb provided evidence of malpractice occurring at the centers where they were deployed.

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Cue out...also liable.”// In the ongoing UCE examinations, several invigilators have been arrested in connection with malpractice. Some have claimed ignorance, but Uneb maintains that in certain forms of malpractice, invigilators may be complicit. According to the law, convicted invigilators abetting malpractice face up to five years of imprisonment or a fine of 20 million Shillings.

To ensure the smooth field conduct of PLE, UNEB has enlisted the assistance of 139 district monitors, 11,758 scouts, 10,664 chief invigilators, and 30,059 invigilators. Additionally, a significant number of security personnel have been deployed across the country to support the exercise and safeguard the examination, field officers, and candidates.

In this year's Primary Leaving Examination (PLE), a total of 749,347 candidates were registered from 14,442 examination centers. Additionally, 69 candidates among those registered are inmates from Upper Prison School Luzira, and 2,580 are candidates with Special Needs. Of the total candidate pool, females represented 52%, totaling 391,558 candidates, while males made up the remaining 48%, amounting to 357,789 candidates. 

The majority of the examination centers, accounting for 79%, were Universal Primary Education (UPE) schools, accommodating a total of 501,619 candidates. The remaining 21% of centers, classified as Non-UPE centers, hosted 247,728 candidates. Overall, 70% of the candidates received funding through the Universal Primary Education (UPE) Program, while the remaining 30% were privately sponsored, with 249,041 candidates falling into the non-UPE category.  

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