I send my appreciation to the media in general and NMG in particular for the relentless fight against inequity in education in Uganda. I draw your attention to the story, “UACE: 16 miss exams over fees balances” in the Daily Monitor of November 11. It was this particular story that prompted the Ministry of Education to condemn the blocking of candidates from sitting their exams.
Education is a human right that is protected by both international and national policies that every citizen is entitled to. Examinations are part of education; they play a vital role in education aspiration and human capital development of a country. As such, it is unfair to deny students this critical part of their lives.
It is true that desired and quality education in the 21st Century, is very costly, but this shouldn’t be at the expense of any citizen. One of the common structural barrier to quality education is poverty. Indeed, many Ugandans are very poor. Worse still, the rising cost of education has widened the gap in education. Education cost is in terms of both direct and indirect costs. Direct costs are primarily school fees and scholastic materials. Indirect costs include the value of children’s time and effort. Therefore, a candidate’s time and effort are the opportunity costs that are wasted by blocking them from sitting exams.