This year, the nation was almost plunged into panic following reports that some exams for S4 candidates had leaked.
Thanks to the immediate intervention by Uganda National Examinations Board with the help of security agencies, the situation was normalised. All national exams are a security issue. Once exams are not protected or supervised, there is likely to be a national crisis.
This is because it takes time and resources to prepare learners for these final checks to qualify them for higher levels of academic achievement.
The truth is exam malpractice has actually been occurring over the years. These temptations seem to have been exacerbated by a new class of examiners commonly known as ‘resourceful persons’.
Because schools are aware that such persons are involved in setting national exams, colossal sums of money have been set aside to hire them to set trial exams, mark them and finally revise corrections with candidate students!
Because such a ‘resource person’ does not want to lose a future opportunity or wants to avoid being called ‘fake’, they set real papers (the ones being prepared for that specific year) for these candidates.
Have you ever wondered why mock question papers of many so-called powerful schools are never seen in public with any student? Usually, when such exams are done, students are disarmed of question papers together with the teachers who invigilate.
This is because there is probably no difference between such papers and the final Uneb question papers!
I would like to recommend the following to avoid possibilities of having the Uneb image undermined through examination leakages:
• Change the format of setting exams from theories or objective questions to application questions that require critical thinking.
• Ban the new mentality of schools hiring ‘resourceful persons’. This has even made schools adamant in supporting their teachers to go for refresher courses because of this dependence syndrome.
• Security agencies such as Internal Security Organization (ISO) and Criminal Investigation Directorate (CID) should be purposefully deployed ahead of time to access mock papers of suspected schools for correlation with Uneb papers.
• Establish Uneb exams whistle-blowers’ desk at every district with good rewards to these people once the information is verified.
Let us all be vigilant and report any form of Uneb examination leakage. Cheating undermines national security, the capability of our students and, above all, the integrity of schools. Desisting from exam malpractice is a good virtue for creating a civil society.
John Vianney Ahumuza,
Lecturer, UCU Mukono.
UPC and NRM have many similarities
In 1986, when President Museveni promised Ugandans fundamental changes, little did I know that he was referring to fundamental similarities with the Milton Obote regime.
They are as follows:
In 1966, Obote used force to get power just as President Museveni did in 1986.
The more Obote ruled, the more he wanted to continue, just like Museveni is now.
Dr Obote gagged the opposition like President Museveni is doing now using the infamous Public Order Management Act.
Dr Obote took himself to be the only bull in the UPC kraal just as President Museveni is doing in NRM. In Obote’s case, the likes of Paul Muwanga, Chris Rwakasisi and Luwuliza Kirunda mistakenly believed that he was irreplaceable; the same thing is happening with Ndugu Ruhakana Rugunda, Evelyn Anite, Raphael Magyezi, etc.
The then first lady Miria never advised her husband; I wonder why the publically-active Janet is unable to advise her husband.
The notorious UPC youth wingers are being slowly replaced by the Kibooko squad or Boda Boda 2010 operatives. Going by these similarities, only time will tell whether the fate of NRM will be any different from that of UPC.
George William Kasule,
Removal of age limit blocks youths
Today’s media is awash with the removal of the presidential age limits. Article 102 (b) of the constitution is the centre of contention. Many African leaders do not respect their constitutions and keep amending them to their own benefit.
A country’s constitution is the sacred document which should not be changed to suit one’s will.
Museveni bribed MPs in 2005 to remove term limits and now wants to do the same with age limits. Youths are being hoodwinked to support this wicked act. Leaders who do not want to leave power are self-centred, non-patriotic and money-hungry.
We have to look at the Raphael Magyezi bill as an impediment to youth propensity to lead this country. There are age limits in civil service and the judicial services to allow new entrants.
This same measure must apply for the presidency and it is the reason it was put in the constitution.
Removal of this limit is detrimental to good leadership. Members of parliament must not lose reason and succumb to the selfish motives of some leaders.
Medical workers must respect oath to save life
Strikes within the public service have been ongoing for a long time and now medical workers have also joined the bandwagon. They all demand a pay rise as well as improved working conditions.
This is not the first time medical workers are striking; medical interns were on strike recently. We understand that on assumption of their duties, medical doctors swear an oath to always put lives of patients first and their personal needs after.
However, following what is happening in the country, doctors have gone against the oath they took, leading to loss of lives in various hospitals across the country.
This leaves me wondering whether some of the medical doctors are really passionate about their jobs.
With intention of harmonizing salary structures across the board, the president directed the ministry of Public Service to establish a Salary Review Commission and this commission is due to produce a report on its findings.
It is, therefore, advisable that the striking civil servants suspend their strikes and wait for the outcome of the report which is intended to address their concerns.