By Our Reporter
Some parents are concerned about the delayed release of their children’s Primary Leaving Examination (PLE) results by the Uganda National Examinations Body (UNEB).
Since Friday when the examinations body released last year’s PLE results, the affected parents and learners have been reaching out to school administrators to pick their results, but all in vain.
Parents of Bright Grammar Primary School in Masaka City are some of those parents facing the challenge and many have been making endless calls and trips to the school to find out what happened. Bright Grammar is a well-known school in Greater Masaka and its one of those that have been posting impressive performance in PLE in previous years.
Alex Mugumya, a resident of Kimanya, who serves as a guardian to one of the affected students, stated that when the exam results were released, they were eager to find out the child’s performance. So, they used the SMS services provided by the board.
“Despite sending multiple messages, we didn’t receive any response. By Friday evening, we had tried various telecommunication platforms and spent over 20,000 shillings. We were told that the system might be busy. But, even after trying the next day, we still didn’t receive any results,” Mugumya explained.
Jennifer Kalule, the UNEB spokesperson highlights that there could be three reasons why a parent may not be able to retrieve their child’s examination results. “It’s possible that the child hasn’t paid their school fees, leading the school to instruct UNEB not to release the results through SMS until the balances are cleared. However, there’s also a chance that the school owes money to UNEB,” she noted.
Kalule also added that several schools had not paid by the time of the exam results release. As a result, the board limited access to the results for both the parents and school to force payment. “Once the school pays, the results become available and both the parents and school can access them,” she added.
The UNEB spokesperson also mentioned that in the worst-case scenario, results for some schools may be withheld due to suspected malpractice. She states that in such cases, the headteachers of the affected schools, area education officers, and other relevant parties, including the students themselves, will soon be called for a hearing.
“The board will soon summon those involved and all candidates whose results have been withheld for a fair hearing by the Examination Security Committee. This will likely happen after the release of the senior four results, as the Committee will handle cases from both the PLE and UCE exams,” the UNEB spokesperson stated.
There are concerns that the delay in holding hearings for these cases may negatively impact students who are currently suspected of malpractice. If they are found innocent, they may miss the selection and placement process for senior one and potentially miss out on their preferred schools.
In previous years, UNEB has released information regarding withheld results on the day of the exam results release. However, this didn’t occur this year. Odongo reassured that after the hearings are over, the Board will publish the list of schools and districts whose results have been cancelled in the media.
It is understood that that the UNEB Executive Secretary, Dan Odongo, has been sending letters to various District Inspectors of Schools explaining why certain school results have been withheld.
During the 2022 PLE, there were reports from scouts and examiners of suspected instances of third-party assistance provided to candidates within the exam rooms and the smuggling of exam-related information by some candidates.
Additionally, there were attempts by individuals to access the exam packages during the distribution process on exam days. In the districts of Mukono, Gomba, Mpigi, and greater Masaka area, security officers arrested some teachers and distributors who cut open question paper envelopes in order to access question papers. Over 10 of these suspects were detained in Mpigi and Masaka, while others were granted bail.