Kampala- Four examination bodies are struggling to mark examination scripts for their students following reports that government underfunded them.
The Daily Monitor has learnt that the Ministry of Education has in the past presented before inter-ministerial meetings that the newly created examination boards, which were curved out of the Uganda National Examinations Board, have been running with less funds to assist them execute their duties.
In a December letter to the Secretary to the Treasury, the director basic education in the ministry of Education, Dr Yusuf Nsubuga, said they agreed during an inter-ministerial meeting in the preparation of the Budget for 2012/13 Financial Year, that the shortfalls of Uganda Nurses and Midwifery Examination Board, Uganda Business and Technical Examination Board and Uganda Allied Health Examinations Board amounting to Shs100 billion would be provided.
However, the money was not provided and the sector had to suffocate other areas by reallocating some funds to keep the boards running. Dr Nsubuga added that this can no longer work as the sector ceiling has remained inelastic as far as non-wage provisions are concerned.
“The ministry has continuously presented the issue of funding shortfalls, especially the new examination boards as key unfunded outputs,” reads part of his letter.
The letter further indicates that enrolment for both Universal Secondary Education and Post-O-Level Education and Training (Upolet) programmes exceeded the number that could be supported within the available financial resources provided in the 2013/14 Budget and required an additional funding of Shs16.31 billion for which only Shs1.7 billion was provided leaving a shortfall of Shs14.5 billion as capitation grants.
The ministry requested for a supplementary budget of Shs23.83 billion to enable the examining bodies do their work.
According to Dr Nsubuga, UNMEB had requested for Shs8.35 billion but only Shs4.9 billion was approved leaving a shortfall of Shs3.4billion, UBTEB wanted Shs6.3 billion but only Shs3.5 billion was approved. This has delayed the marking of scripts.
Ms Helen Mukakarisa, the UNMEB executive secretary yesterday confirmed that they do not have money.
While earlier Finance reported that they had released Shs5 billion to relieve Uneb officials after they postponed marking of Senior Six papers, Mr Hamis Kaheru said their accounts were not yet credited by yesterday.
At UBTEB, Mr Paul Amoru, the spokesperson, said while their number of students has increased from 30, 000 to 60, 000, their budget had remained constant.