Ministry bans external mocks for candidates

What you need to know:

  • The ministry also banned beginning of term and mid-term examinations and asked schools to use this period to recover the time students lost during the 18 months closure of schools due to Covid-19.

The Ministry of Education has banned external mocks or other external examinations organised for candidate classes, except Uganda National Examinations Board (Uneb).

The ministry also banned beginning of term and mid-term examinations and asked schools to use this period to recover the time students lost during the 18 months closure of schools due to Covid-19.

Sources at the Ministry of Education said students in candidate classes should only be subjected to final examinations conducted by Uneb.

These include the Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE), Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) and Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE).

“Continuous Assessment (based on class exercises and out of class assignments, shall be used to assess learners’ progress,” a source said.

The source added that heads of school were tasked to ensure that teachers are oriented and sensitised on effective approaches and methods for accelerated but equitable learning that ensures that no learner is left behind.

Another source said schools had been using external mocks to ask for huge sums of money from parents who are already distressed as a result of Covid-19 impact on their businesses.

“Schools should do internal mocks set by the schools, not the external ones. The only external exams students should sit for must come from Uneb,” the source said.

The spokesperson of the Ministry of Education, Dr Denis Mugimba, confirmed the development, saying schools should focus on spending more time teaching as opposed to just passing exams.

“Some schools spend a lot of time doing tests. You find a school doing more than 50 tests in one term and this compromises the time the learners should spend revising his or her books,” Dr Mugimba said.

Adding: “This does not come free of charge. Parents are charged highly and this is not good. We are saying let the schools concentrate on the curriculum and assess learners at the end of each topic as opposed to these external exams.”

Some school heads have protested the move and asked the Ministry of Education to see how to handle these external exams.

Mr Martin Okiria, the national chairperson of the Association of Secondary School Headteachers, said: “Schools should just be guided on how many tests to take and charge moderate costs as opposed to banning them completely. These regional mocks are set by teachers from various best schools so they help a teacher to know how his students are performing and areas for improvement.”

The chairperson of the National Private Education Institutions Association, Mr Hasadu Kirabira, asked the Ministry of Education to permit schools to decide on external mocks provided they have finished their syllabus.

What are external mocks?

These are exams set by various teachers within a District or region and administered to candidates’ students in various schools.

For instance, students in various schools in Wakiso District are usually subjected to exams set by various teachers in the district.

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