KAMPALA, UGANDA: The practice of many schools ignoring the mandatory examination briefing ahead of national exams is one of the leading causes of examination malpractice according to the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB)
The Executive Director, Dan Odongo, made the revelation during the release of this 2022 examination timetable on Thursday. According to Odongo, many learners are being penalized for examination vices because they did not undergo briefing as stipulated by the examination guidelines.
He says the examination body has discovered that many schools do not carry out briefing or leave it to a few teachers which leaves the learners at a disadvantage. According to the examination body’s rules and regulations, all national examination cycles should start with a briefing session in which candidates are given all examination guidelines.
The guidelines spell out what material is allowed to be carried into an examination room, what time the exam starts and how candidates are expected to behave. However, Odongo says that many schools leave this part of the exam to one teacher or completely ignore it. While some schools, do it for an hour or even shorter in the afternoon. This he says leads to gaps in examination preparation.
According to Odongo, some candidates get involved in some forms of examination malpractice because they do not know what constitutes examination malpractice. He says briefing should be taken seriously since it tells the candidate what they should expect during the examinations.
Briefing of candidates normally takes place on Fridays and is considered the start of the examination cycle. After this exercise, no teaching is expected to take place and any school found doing so can be considered to have cheated.
This year’s examination cycle is scheduled to start on October 14, 2022, with the briefing on Uganda Certificate of Examinations candidates followed by those at the primary level on November 7, 2022. Candidates at the Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education level will be briefed on November 18.
Last year, the examination body reported 3, 612 cases of examination malpractice. In the majority of the reported cases, 2,220 were at PLE while 1,292 were at UCE. According to UNEB, at PLE majority of the cases included interference from teachers and UNEB staff. At UCE, the highest cases of malpractice were reported in Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics. The most common forms of malpractice included; collusion among candidates, external assistance, impersonation and script substitution.
All reported cases were handled according to the 2021 UNEB Act which states that anyone caught cheating in national examinations is liable to be jailed for 10 years or pay a fine of 40 million Shillings or both.