Former UNEB Boss, David Livingstone Ongom Passes On

Former Executive Secretary of UNEB, David Livingstone Ongom.

Former Executive Secretary of Uganda National Exams Board (UNEB), David Livingstone Ongom is dead.

Ongom is reported to have passed on Friday from Nakasero Hospital in Kampala where he had been admitted in the intensive care unit (ICU). He is said to have been battling cancer.

Ongom took over the top job at UNEB in 1984 until the year 1995 when he was replaced.

He is remembered for introducing an unprecedented examination syllabus giving details on what the exam is based on and what counts for success.

He almost single-handedly pushed for the revitalisation of the mode of setting examinations from one that loosely probes the pupils’ or students’ general knowledge to one that tests their aptitude to think.

Prior to UNEB, Ongom was working with the then East African Examinations Council (EAEC) as deputy secretary in charge of examinations and research.

A year later, when former President, Idi Amin’s government started hunting people who originated from Lango, Ongom fled with his family to Nairobi and returned in December 1979.

Upon the collapse of the East African Community (EAC) in 1977, EAEC later came to be phased out in 1980. Uganda National Examinations Board was then formed with Basil Kiwanuka as first secretary while Peter Eriaku was his senior deputy secretary.

At the time, Ongom was one of two deputy secretaries under Eriaku, a position he held between 1977 and 1979.

Kiwanuka was removed a year later for unknown reasons and Eriaku took over. When Eriaku died in 1984, Ongom replaced him.

Ongom held the job in acting capacity for five years until it was advertised in 1989. When he applied for the position of First Secretary UNEB, he was asked to take over substantively.

He would later be replaced in 1995.

May his soul rest in eternal peace.

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