Ahead of Thursday’s commencement of the Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE), the examinations body UNEB has intensified the security of examination question papers to safeguard against malpractice.
The UNEB Executive Secretary Dan Odongo said that distribution of the examinations began on Tuesday evening to the distant districts amid tight security.
“We are releasing trucks in phases. They will be called escorted by the Police Field Force Unit officers to the deliver them to various storage stations,” Odongo told the press on Wednesday afternoon at the UNEB headquarters in Ntinda, Kampala.
The heightened security follows public outcry a week after Senior Four examinations leaked on social media platforms hours to the sitting. UNEB has since confirmed the leak which it said resulted from connivance of an examination supervisor band a scout.
A total of 646,080 candidates are set to sit for the PLE examinations on Thursday and Friday in 12,751 examination centres across Uganda. The majority of these are girls (333,495), representing 51% of the total.
“The papers will also be escorted from the district storage centres to the sitting stations in order to prevent cases where people have been opening the examinations along the way,” Odongo said.
To supervise and safeguard the exercise, UNEB has deployed 116 district monitors, 8,500 scouts and an unspecified number of both uniformed and plain clothed security personnel, Odongo revealed.
“These security officers will work both covertly and overtly to ensure that the exams meet the safety requirements,” he added.
“It is the intention of UNEB that all candidates be given equal opportunities to demonstrate their labels of ability without anyone having an unfair advantage over others”.
As another safety prerequisite, UNEB has prohibited schools from carrying out further lessons once Wednesday’s briefing exercise is finished. Odongo said that teaching in the period before the examinations “will be taken as a breach of exam regulations and appropriate sanctions will be taken”.
Furthermore, UNEB has asked schools to ensure that all candidates get much from the examinations centre premises.
He warned schools that have previously had their results cancelled due to examination malpractice, urging them to refrain from the vice.