Education and Sports minister Janet Museveni has promised to introduce a bill in parliament that will lay down severe punishments for schools and teachers found guilty of examination malpractice.
Speaking at the release of the 2017 Primary Leaving Examination results this afternoon, Ms Museveni said it is disheartening for teachers who should be the vanguard of moral righteousness to be the very people perpetuating the vice of cheating in exams.
“I condemn examination malpractices…the fact that nearly all perpetrators are classroom teachers threaten the very core of our moral fabric and the work we are trying to do here,” Ms Museveni said.
Her speech was prompted by the Uneb chairperson, Prof Mary Okwakol, who revealed that amidst their sustained effort to stamp out the vice, examiners have continued to unearth cases where pupils were assisted to answer questions.
“Examination malpractice continues to pose a threat to the sanctity of our education system and will now need to be viewed as a national security threat. The easiest way to destroy a country is to compromise its education system through among others cheating in national examinations,” Okwakol said.
She added that the curbing the vice can no longer be seen as a Uneb affair, but must be a concern of all leaders, security agencies and citizens. Ms Museveni agreed with Okwakol, promising stringent measures at all levels.
“When Uneb has conducted full investigations, district chief accounting officers must also take firm action on the culpable teachers,” Ms Museveni said.
Uneb is withholding results of 2,559 of last year’s candidates pending completion of investigations. According to the results that were released this afternoon, for the third year running, there were more girls than boys sitting for PLE. However, like in the previous two years, boys performed better than girls.
Ms Museveni applauded parents for educating girls despite impediments that naturally stop them from staying in schools for longer hours like boys.
“It is undisputed fact that educating the girls lays an even firmer foundation of our nation. We need to continue this struggle that along with the improvement of numbers goes with improvement in performance,” Ms Museveni said.
The results also indicate that performance has improved and more candidates will be able to join post primary institutions.
“The examiners have reported that candidates are writing better and appear to express themselves more,” Okwakol said
Some 646,190 candidates from 12,751 centres sat for PLE last year with 571, 252 (90.9 per cent) passing in grade one to four. Social studies and science were the best done two subjects while English registered the worst performance.
Senior one selections are scheduled for January 24-25 at the Lugogo-based Uganda Manufacturers Association multipurpose hall.