Let’s stop aiding exam malpractice

Tuesday January 21 2020
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Last Friday, the Uganda National Examinations Board (Uneb) released results for the 2019 Primary Leaving Examinations. While 90.1 per cent of the candidates who sat for the examinations qualified for secondary school, 1,512 candidates do not know their fate, as their results were withheld over malpractice.
Not a year has gone by without Uneb withholding results of thousands of learners. In fact the number was much higher last year, at 3,346, and 2,000 in 2017.
According to Uneb Executive Secretary Dan Odongo, these were mainly cases of external assistance given to candidates by third parties inside the examination rooms.
In fact, Mr Odongo also noted that in one examination centre in Mpigi District, a scout reported back to Uneb with Shs500, 000 which had been given to her as a bribe to allow the teachers of the school to write answers for the candidates. Kudos to that invigilator for reporting the case!
Also notable in his statement was the issue of fake papers which circulated on social media the night before the exams. Mr Odongo said the fake papers misled teachers and candidates.
“Many gullible schools bought these papers and used them to teach the children overnight on the eve of the examination. Such children were greatly disorganised on finding different questions in the examination papers. Markers found in some candidates’ scripts excuses such as “this is not the paper we are to do,” “this is not our examination,” Mr Odongo said.
This feedback from the markers is a clear indication of insufficient preparation for the examinations and inadequate coverage of the syllabus. Coaching pupils at the last minute shows that the teachers are not playing their part.
As such, we encourage teachers to adequately prepare learners for examinations so as to avoid falling prey to fake papers and all other forms of examination malpractice. Because, coaching pupils on the eve of the exams basing on a paper circulated on WhatsApp is a sign of panic and unpreparedness and it only serves to disorganise the candidates. Teachers also ought to know that examination malpractice not only hurts the affected candidates, but also their parents who have to spend more money on their children to repeat Primary Seven

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