The Minister of Education and Sports, also First Lady, Janet Kataaha Museveni has revealed that the Ministry does not intend to give any supplementary exams to Primary Seveni pupil who missed sitting the just concluded Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE).
Over 20 pupils were on Monday reported in the media as having missed their PLE after their head teachers misappropriated their registrations fees consequently leading to their failure to be registered for the exams.
The Minister’s response followed a matter of national importance that was on Tuesday raised by the Bunyole West Member of Parliament, James Waluswaka. The Bunyole West legislator called on the Ministry to have some lenience and make arrangements for supplementary exams for the affected pupils.
The Minister instead apportioned blame on the schools for frustrating the registration, saying that there is no any way the Ministry could track whether these pupils were registered or not.
She added that offering pupils additional exams can not be done as this will set a bad precedent that will allow head teachers to fail to register students in the hope that they will have another opportunity.
The First Lady told Parliament that such exams should be done at the same time to ensure they are accessed in the same manner.
“I can understand the concern of Members but by setting new exams, we will be setting a bad precedent and this can not be a one off thing. If this happens again, we will have to do what we would have done,” Kataha said.
Nonetheless, MP Walunswaka urged the Minister to reconsider her position and that Members of Parliament are willing to contribute financially to the noble cause to ensure these children do not miss out on their exams. He argued that the pupils, many of who are girls might end up in marriage at such young age.
“I request that for this particular case since the pupils that missed their exams are not more than 50, let them be given special exams from the different set of exams that UNEB always sets,” Waluswaka insisted.
Janet Museveni also noted that they are enacting the UNEB Bill that will give heavy penalties to head teachers that fail to register students.
The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah urged the Ministry to come up with a system which can help pupils to detect whether they have been registered or not, which the Minister promised to look into.