UNEB Unveils New Plan to Curb Exam Theft

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In short
According to Odongo, UNEB is also considering raising the examination security level involving other agencies and not only police. UNEB has in the past been relying mainly on police for security of the national exams.

Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) is considering robust strategies to curb exam leakages. This comes after the unprecedented leakage of the 2017 Uganda Certificate of Examination (UCE) exams.

 
On Wednesday, the UNEB Executive Secretary, Dan Odongo told the Education and Sports Committee of parliament that the Board is taking a hard look at all its processes following the experience with a view of making thorough reviews.
 
He said they will take a thorough review looking at the examination paper production and internal security arrangements to eliminate examination leakage, adding that they have established a committee to undertake the task. The reviews are part of the interim report on the 2017 exam leakage Odongo submitted to the committee.
 
"A review of the distribution frequency will be done with a view to decrease the number of papers sent out in each batch and increase the number of batches. The possibility of weekly distribution will be explored," reads part of the interim report.
 
According to Odongo, UNEB is also considering raising the examination security level involving other agencies and not only police. UNEB has in the past been relying mainly on police for security of the national exams.
 
"Timetabling will be reviewed. Currently morning examinations start at 9:00am and afternoon at 2:00pm. The period before the start of the examination is quite long and tempting for schools to use for exposing the candidates to whatever material they would have received." further reads the report.
 
Odongo also reminded the MPs of the need to expedite the enactment of a new UNEB Act with sufficient deterrent measures, saying a cabinet memo on the matter has already been submitted.
 
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Interim Report Findings   

Reading out sections of the interim report on the UCE leakagesUNEB Executive Secretary Dan Odongo said that investigations had traced the leakage to a storage station in Busesa. 
 
"One Katonto Henry, a bursar at Nkuutu Memorial SS in Busese in Iganga was arrested. This proved to be key in the investigatios because he revealed to the police that his head teacher, one Waiswa Hassan, the area supervisor in charge of Busesa County Headquarters where UNEB examination papers for the area (Station No.430 Busesa) were kept and the Chief Scout, one Odinga Ben Bella, a teacher at Nsangi Secondary School were the people behind the leakage." reads part of the interim report.
 
Odongo said that the scout and area supervisor would remove the paper for the following day from the strong room between 10pm to midnight.
 
 
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The interim report indicates that a total of 49 people have been arrested from various districts and appeared in court in relation to the examination leakage. Four suspects were from Entebbe, 3 from Kibiito, 4 from Mbarara, 7 from Hoima, 1 from Amuria, 4 suspects from Luweero, 9 rom Kampala and others. They include head teachers, a student among others. 
 
Extent of Leakage
 

According to Odongo, some of the papers done in the 2nd week of the UCE examination including English, History 1, Christian Religious Education (223/1), Chemistry Paper 2 and Biology Paper 1 were confirmed leaked using WhatsApp. He said that messages were sent out from about midnight and some of the beneficiaries were reported to receive the papers at about 3am up to 6 am.
 
Odongo told MPs that they have completed marking and are currently analyzing the full extent of the problem.

 

About the author

Olive Nakatudde
Olive Nakatudde is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Nakatudde has been a URN staff member since 2013.

Nakatudde started out in journalism in 2009 with Dembe FM radio in Kampala. In 2012, Nakatudde joined Voice of Africa as a political reporter. She has been a photographer since her journalism school days at Makerere University.

Nakatudde is interested in good governance and public policy, which she reports on intensively from the Uganda Parliament. She is a keen follower of cultural affairs in Buganda Kingdom and covers the kingdom's Lukiiko (parliament). Nakatudde also reports on education and health.