Ministry allows Ebola contacts to sit for PLE 

Education minister Janet Museveni

What you need to know:

  • The Minister of Health, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, last month announced that at least six learners from various schools in Kampala were among the 47 Ebola cases admitted to various hospitals

The Minister of Education, Ms Janet Museveni, yesterday directed all schools across the country to allow pupils who have been isolated because they are contacts of patients infected with  Ebola to sit for their Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) slated to start next week.

In a press statement released yesterday, Ms Museveni said arrangements have been made with the Ministry of Health to ensure that these candidates sit their exams in a safer manner that will be spelt out to the Uganda National Examination Board (Uneb).
“No Ebola contact or case that is willing and able to sit their end-of-cycle exams should be denied the opportunity to sit their exams,” she said.
The Minister of Health, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, last month announced that at least six learners from various schools in Kampala were among the 47 Ebola cases admitted to various hospitals.

Some students, candidates included, have been isolated because they are contacts of Ebola cases, according to sources.
Ms Museveni said they have guided Uneb to ensure that affected learners sit their exams from the school they have been studying from.
“However, if affected pupils are from schools that are close to one another, the Ministry of Health and Uneb shall work to see how such candidates can be transported safely to sit their exams from the same centre together,” Ms Museveni said in the statement.

The government has also formulated strategies that will ensure that once candidates complete their exams in Mubende and Kassanda districts, which are under lockdown, they can return home in a safer manner that is consistent with preventing the spread of the Ebola Virus Disease.
“I want to assure our learners, parents, and institutions of learning that as a ministry, we continue to work closely with the Ministry of Health in monitoring the situation. As of now, it is important to consistently adhere to the guidance communicated through circulars from the Ministry of Education,” Ms Museveni said.

Uneb response
The executive director of Uneb, Mr Daniel Odongo, yesterday said candidates from one school in Kampala had reported cases of Ebola.
“The Ministry of Health said all these learners have since recovered but are still isolated at various health centres with all their contacts,” Mr Odongo said.
“These were initially having their exams at Kasubi Church of Uganda, but we have made arrangements to take their exams to their schools so that they do not mix with other learners at Kasubi, ” he added. 

A total of 832,821 candidates have been registered to sit for this year’s PLE. 
This number is higher compared to those who sat for the exams in 2020 by 83,012 learners. A total of 749,809 learners sat for PLE in 2020.
This is the highest number of candidates to sit for this year’s examinations.

This is the second phase of examinations to be undertaken after the Senior Four candidates who started writing their final papers last month.
Meanwhile, Ms Museveni reiterated the ministry’s earlier position that Primary One to Six pupils should stay home for two days to enable candidates to sit for their examinations uninterrupted.
She also emphasised that those in the boarding section and non-candidates will stay at their respective schools, but out of class.

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