Business and Finance

UNEB advised to introduce SMS exams registration

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By Taddeo Bwambale and Norah Mutesi

Education minister, Jessica Alupo has asked the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) to consider introducing a system where students can register for national exams via Short Messaging Service (SMS) to prevent theft of registration fees by unscrupulous school heads.

Speaking at the installation ceremony for seasoned educationist, Fagil Mandy as the new UNEB board chairperson at the headquarters on Monday, Alupo said that if adopted, such a system will help students verify whether they have been cleared to sit for exams.

The idea follows numerous complaints about fraud where head teachers in several schools make off with huge sums of students’ registration fees.

“So many students have lost time and parents get stressed when they discover that their children have not been registered. If they (UNEB) can do it effectively, it will help to control the problem,” the minister said.

“I would like to see a system that does not frustrate students at the last minute when they learn that they have not been registered,” Alupo said.

The minister paid tribute to outgoing chairperson Prof. Lutalo Bbosa, whom she described as a leader who pays admirable attention to detail. She cited his role in the construction of a new UNEB block and expansion of the printer at Kyambogo.

She dismissed what she called rumours that he [Bbosa] had been “sacked” by Government.

“I would like to clear the misinformation that Prof Bbosa was sacked,” she said, adding that the office was guided by term limits as per the UNEB Act.

Alupo observed the need to expand the current staff of the examinations body to match the growing number of candidate students over the years.

Statistics show that in 1980, there were 20,157 Senior Four candidates but the number has since grown to 267,527 in 2012. Over the same period, the number of Senior Six candidates rose from 15,023 to 110,637, without a proportionate increase in staff at UNEB.

The number of candidates at Primary level also rose from 156,188 in 1985 to 564,778 in 2012.


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