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Press statement on 2023 Uganda Certificate of Education by UNEB

13 October 2023, 1:44 pm

The Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) Examination for the 2023 candidates officially starts today, Friday, October 13, 2023, with the briefing of candidates. I would like to emphasize that the briefing is a very important exercise which must be conducted by the head teachers themselves.

During the briefing session, candidates must be made aware of the instructions contained in the timetable as well as the Rules and Regulations guiding the conduct of examinations. The head teachers must explain clearly to the candidates the consequences of their not adhering to these rules and regulations, and of cheating in the examination.

UNEB has found out that cases of irregularities and malpractice by candidates quite often arise from candidates receiving inadequate, or no briefing at all.

We wish to encourage parents who can do so, to attend the briefing sessions as well. The briefing is also aligned with the national prayers and dedication for the candidates and the examination process which UNEB has requested for from all faith affiliations.

These prayers are scheduled to take place from today Friday, 13th October to Sunday, 15th October 2023. Candidates will, thereafter, start writing their examinations on Monday, 16th October 2023, starting with Geography Paper 1 and 2 in the morning and afternoon, respectively.

 Candidature at UCE Level A total of 364,470 candidates registered for this year’s UCE examination, as compared to 349,445 candidates last year, indicating a percentage increase of 4.3 in candidature. Of these, 184,014 (50.5%) are females, while 180,456 (49.5%) are males.

The candidates will write their papers from 3,863 Centres countrywide compared to 3,703 Examination Centres in 2022. Luzira Upper Prison Centre which caters for the inmates registered 59 candidates, of whom 7 are females and 52 are males. A total of 118,735 (32.5%) of the candidates are funded under the Universal Secondary Education (USE) Programme, while 245,734(70%) of the candidates are Non-USE, 2 777 of the UCE candidates are Special Needs Education (SNE) learners.

The Board has arranged for them to receive the necessary support per their needs. UNEB will avail braille answer sheets for the blind, and large print question papers for those with low vision, while the deaf will receive sign language interpreters.

Candidates with severe physical impairments that may affect the use of apparatus during practical examinations will also receive support personnel. Those with dyslexia/reading and writing problems will be availed transcribers.

Caution against Examination Malpractice This year’s examinations will be conducted under the theme ‘Integrity and security in the management of examinations is a joint responsibility’.

The Board is working with various security agencies, contracted professionals, and Heads of Centres to conduct this examination. We shall deploy 1,036 security officers, 1,113 scouts and 107,941 invigilators.

High levels of integrity are expected from those we are working with, UNEB strongly warns against involvement in any form of examination malpractice. We would also like to strongly warn the public against fraudsters purporting to have the blueprint of the UNEB examination papers, and extorting huge sums of money from the unsuspecting members of the public. We hereby caution the public against dealing with such people.

 So far, nine key suspects have been arrested and arraigned before the court. Yesterday, six of them were remanded to Luzira Prison until 30th October 2023. It is our plea that they be dealt with per the provisions of the UNEB Act, 2021.

 Our security agencies are following up on the rest who are on the run. Any other person, be they teachers, or invigilators, who will aid and abet acts of malpractice will face the full force of the law.

 Section 25(1) provides that any person who gains or attempts to gain possession of any examination paper, or any part of an examination paper, examination material, or any other material or information which purports to relate to the contents of an examination paper, commits an offence and is liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding two thousand currency points or a term of imprisonment not exceeding 10 years or both.

 Subsection 2 of the same section provides that any person who, wilfully or negligently assists, or causes any candidate to obtain, or gain unauthorised possession of an examination paper, material or information or any part of an examination paper, commits an offence, and on conviction, will be liable to a fine not exceeding two thousand currency points or a term of imprisonment not exceeding 10 years or both.

In both cases, this penalty will apply, whether the examination paper, examination material, or information is genuine or not.

Section 26 provides that teachers, invigilators, scouts or any other persons who assist candidates to cheat, who negligently allow, or fail to stop unauthorized assistance to candidates are liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding one thousand currency points or 5 years in prison or both. Candidates and all concerned must note that involvement in malpractice in one paper shall lead to the cancellation of the results of the whole examination.

The Board has a toll-free line 0800-211-077 which members of the public can use to report any suspected case of examination malpractice. The Board also has a whistle Blower’s policy to protect those reporting from victimization and also ensure their compensation once the information is proven to be accurate.

School fees balances and acts of indiscipline by candidates We wish to encourage parents to address the issue of school fees balances with the heads of schools early enough, to avoid the scenario where candidates are inconvenienced by the school heads on account of non-payment of the fees. We also request heads of centres to avoid the act of pulling candidates out of examination rooms in the course of the examination due to fees issues.

The Board will work with the schools to put in place measures to assist them in recovering their fees even after the examination has been done by a defaulting candidate. The Board strongly warns candidates against indiscipline. The fact that you are a candidate does not absolve you from following school regulations. UNEB will neither be involved nor sympathize with a candidate or candidates subjected to strict disciplinary measures by the school on account of indiscipline. Finally, we would like to comfort the candidates that the Lord who has brought them this far will surely enable them to effectively write and pass their examination.

 We encourage the candidates to be calm, and confident, follow the instructions and pray for divine intervention and guidance as they sit their examinations. We all wish all the candidates God’s blessings. May God bless our candidates and those involved in the conduct of the examination, and may God bless our Country