I am a crusader for Good Governance. My mission is to contribute to the promotion of Good Governance and more specifically Democracy ideal for Uganda.
Thursday, May 3, 2012
FAGIL MANDY SHOULD AVOID IMMEDIATE CHANGES IN EXAMINATION STRUCTURE
Fagil Mandy is the new Chairman of Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB), he replaces Lutalo Bbosa, however, he has come in at a time when the cheating to pass national examinations is the norm which he has to handle is a big task ahead.
Mr. Mandy is congratulated upon being appointed to the Chair of the Board of Ugada National Examination's Board (UNEB), however, Mandy should first concentrate on cleaning the staff employed by the Board. This is against the background that there is alot of cheat in national examinations. Unfortunately, the development is so much public knowledge that students today are told to register for some courses when they are sure that they actually measure up to the task. It is common knowledge that the examiners go to various schools and brief the students of what should be expected in the coming exams and how to deal with answering questions. What Fagil has to avoid id the wish to immediately change the papers and say set books. Given Uganda's economy, many of the changes he may wish are to be met by parents in form of increased cost. It is better meanwhile to clean up.
William Kituuka Kiwanuka
FAGIL MANDY REPLACES LUTALO BBOSA AS UNEB BOARD CHAIRMAN
Published: April 19, 2012
By Jane Nambi
Fagil Manday to run Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) replacing Lutalo Bbosa.
In a Cabinet sitting, Lutalo was relieved of his duties as the boss of UNEB and was replaced by Fagil Manday. The cabinet meting was chaired by Premier, Amama Mbabazi. It was agreed that Bbosa be replaced with education consultant Fagil Manday.
Bbosa has been the head for nine years after his contract was renewed three times. The contract remains valid for three years but renewable basing on performance. “We have resolved unanimously to nail Bbosa. He is no more the chairman of UNEB. We want Mandy to come in with his vast knowledge in education and experience. We want him to come up with practical reforms in the sector and not theories as it has been the case,” a source stated.
According to the source, the cabinet resolved to write to the president informing him of this development so that he can issue a statutory instrument for Mandy to begin work. Information and National Guidance Minister Mary Karooro Okurut confirmed the development. She said she was going to address the media over the proceedings of cabinet and also update the nation about the nodding disease.
“It is true we discussed it and made some changes in UNEB. I am going to address the press and update you on the issue of nodding disease,” she stated.
In a government statement signed by Hon. Mary Karooro Okurut (MP), Minister of Information and National Guidance, the sitting concluded the following.
“At its sitting, today the 18th April 2012, Cabinet has approved the Appointment of Mr. Fagil Mandy as the new Chairman Uganda National Examination Board (UNEB). This is in accordance with the UNEB Act, Chapter 137 of the laws of Uganda (2000) Section 6(1) (a) which provides for the Appointment of the Chairperson by His Excellency the President.
Mr. Mandy replaces Prof. Lutalo Bbosa who has served Three consecutive terms, the last of which expired on 31st October 2011 cannot be considered for the Fourth Term. The incoming Chairman possesses the necessary qualifications and experience having served in different capacities that included heading a Department in the Ministry of Education.
Mr. Mandy will hold office on a Three Year renewable contract and he is expected to oversee and Direct the Functions of the Board, authenticate the Seal of the Board,convene and determine the place and time for the Board Meetings, preside at all Meetings of the Board, chair the Finance and General Purpose Committee of the Board.
I'M READY TO SERVE
Sunday, 29 April 2012 18:58
Written by Simon Musasizi
Cabinet recently appointed Fagil Mandy to replace Prof. Lutalo Bbosa as Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) chairman, although his appointment awaits the President’s approval. Simon Musasizi talked to him about this new position.
Why do you think you were choice for government?
I can only imagine because they didn’t tell me. The PS [Permanent Secretary ministry of Education and Sports] only consulted me whether they should include my name. However, I think my previous record plays a very big role; a record of straightforwardness, enthusiastic work, and my knowledge of the education terrain. Also, my previous experience with UNEB was positive. As a commissioner [in the ministry of education] I was a member of the UNEB board by virtue of my position. I have also continued to work with UNEB on the monitoring team during examinations. I also have very strong views on education. I am very concerned about the quality of the learner at the end.
So, do you know the task ahead of you?
Yes, because, I mean, I have been working as an education consultant, not a peripheral one; I have been in the middle of these things.
What plans do you have for UNEB?
One of them is to manage exams more efficiently because UNEB is one institution in Uganda that has done a very good job and we need to maintain that. This [supervising exams] is the largest national exercise every year. You have the primary level examinations, O and A-level exams. So, managing that efficiently is a big challenge, which we need to work on. Then UNEB have got a lot to do with how the teachers teach.
We call the tune and they dance to the tune. But what is that tune? People are crying out there that maybe there is too much theory. UNEB has got to think about it because that is a reality; there is too much theory out there. The product isn’t hands-on. We have to ask ourselves questions; how relevant examinations are to what is being taught because the biggest problem is that the education is too theoretical. So, how can UNEB as a centre make them less theoretical?
So, how are you going to do that?
It is up to us [the board] and that is the biggest and most exciting thing that if you make a realistic tune, people will dance correctly. UNEB also gives out examination centres [which] are given out according to minimum standards. Now, through the maintenance of minimum standards of schools with examination centres particularly the private ones, you can contribute towards providing better education in schools.
For example, before you are given an examination centre, you must have a qualified head teacher. Now, I have met some schools which don’t have qualified head teachers. So, through the provisions in the act, one can directly influence the quality of schools in the country.
What is your plan to curb examination malpractice?
We have to continue with the fight against malpractice. While UNEB trains people who will be involved in the exams, I really feel we need to do more sensitization of the masses including the teachers and students in order to cause a mindset change. UNEB also needs to go a little bit down to address the students themselves so that it doesn’t hang up here.
I know there is a briefing which is normally done [just before exams] but briefing is not sensitization. The other issue is keeping together a team that will continue combating examination malpractices. The UNEB job is based on trust and honesty. That is why I am very happy that Mr Matthew Bukenya has remained there as secretary, because he is an honest man and there are other honest people. And keeping a team of honest people is a rare quality.
What is your take on schools that perform better than others because some of their teachers are examiners?
Of course, it is an inevitable thing because you can’t get other people to examine you. You can only use your teachers. UNEB has got regulations regarding that; for example if someone is a marker, he is not supposed to be hired in another school to go and teach children on how to pass exams. But some people have been moving around being hired. If someone is caught in this act, it should tantamount to recommendation for dismissal by ministry of Education and Sports.
Are you not one of the people who think he has been there for so long?
For me I don’t think people should be moved out of office because they have been there for long. He has been there for long doing a good job. Who gets tired of a good job? As long as you are enjoying the dance, dance, and as long as you are not boring, dance. Yes, he has been there for long because he has done a good job. People who are not thieves are very few.
You talked of exams being less theoretical, are you planning to start setting more practical questions?
Yes. If you look at the education white paper, the goals of education are to create an individual who is self-reliant, independent, an individual who believes in unity, an individual who believes in wealth creation. That is what is set. The education white paper is very clear – with its six objectives.
Now, are those objectives being achieved in the education system? Is UNEB trying to assess that? That is a big challenge. I know it is not as easy. If that is what is meant to be the product of the school system, how do we ensure that it is the product we pass out? It will come from the way the teachers are teaching and teachers will teach from what UNEB is looking for.
Many schools still lack basic facilities like laboratories. How are you going to handle this?
But why should you start a school which doesn’t have a laboratory? If you are going to start a school, you must be able to provide the basics. That is no excuse. A school isn’t a charitable organization. People are doing business. You start, then the demand you create will force people to shift their budgets and attention.
You saw how government started with the teaching of sciences; more students are beginning to enjoy sciences. The attitude is changing. I know this also affects some of the government schools but I know that government has been giving laboratories and equipments for many years.
Do you still see UNEB as an influential institution given the fact that vocational institutions are breaking away to start their own body that sets exams?
This relieves UNEB of a big burden because UNEB runs PLE, O and A-level exams, if the vocational education is being taken over by a vocational body, it is a relief. We hope that the other bodies will equally keep the standards. I was reading somewhere and they were saying they want to make their exams more practical. So, for me, it is not weakening UNEB, it is strengthening UNEB by removing too much burden from it.
Universities are now setting pre-entry exams for those seeking to study Law. What does this say about UNEB’s competence?
I don’t have details about what the universities will be examining for. But to me that is an added check point because the university is not just checking whether UNEB is enough. They want to ensure that they are producing students with crosscutting skills. Whatever curriculum they are going to use to set the exams, it isn’t there to test UNEB, but to see whether you qualify because when you are being given a job interview, it is not that someone doubts your academic papers but because they are looking out for other qualities. You may score highly [on UNEB exams] but maybe you are lacking in some other areas. For me, I think it is going to help UNEB, schools and students depending on what they will be looking for.
UNEB RELEASES UGANDA ADVANCED CERTIFICATE OF EDUCATION EXAM RESULTS
By Jude Bukenya
The Uganda National Examinations board has today released the results of the Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education for the year 2006. The exams were reported as successfully conducted with very minimal challenges of leakages compared to the Uganda Certificate of Education examinations which were released last month.
This time round areas in the northern part of the country which have for long been affected by insurgency had a much more peaceful examination period than ever before and recorded no major challenges.
A total of 72,204 candidates registered for the examinations compared to 72,147 candidates in the year 2005 indicating an increase of only 57 candidates represented by 0.09% while 70,708 candidates appeared for the examinations compared to 70,609 in the year 2005.
Last year also recorded a slight increase in female candidature from 28,186 in 2005 to 28,430 in 2006.the female candidates constituted 39.4% of the total number of candidates who sat for the examination last year while 39.1% sat in the year 2005.
In the overall performance male students performed better than the females. The candidates in 2006 have shown some improvement- by 2.0% considering the two principal pass requirement for admission into tertiary institutions.
The percentage of females scoring 3 principal passes and above stands at 42.2%, up from 39.5% in 2005, while that of males is at 46.1%, also indicating an increase from 42.9% in 2005. However the percentage of females scoring at least 2 principal passes is 64% compared to that of males at 62.9%
Female candidates performed better than males in Christian Religious Education, Geography, Literature in English and Biology while male candidates were better in History and Economics. The sciences gap which has been in favour of males has closed and the performance is comparable though female entries in sciences are still low compared to those of males.
General performance in large entry subjects has indicated that there was noticeable decline in History, Mathemetics, Physics and Biology. Most of the students continue to offer arts subjects which keep the entries for sciences very low. Significant increases have been recorded in entries for Mathematics which went up by 46.6%, Physics 42.2%, Chemistry 16.8% and Biology 21.1%.
The Executive Secretary Uganda National Examinations Board Mathew Bukenya attributes the significant increases in science subjects to the government policy of compulsory sciences at Olevel and sponsorship of sciences at university.
Bukenya notes that lack of subject matter and incompletion of syllabuses affected many students which resulted into scoring very low grades because of the failure to exhibit the expected competencies. Inability of students to handle subjects which require more cogtive skills also continues to affect performance coupled with poor communication skills arising from poor command of the English language and basic grammar.
A total of 128 candidates have had their results nullified for receiving external assistance, smuggling of unauthorized material and notes into the examination room.
The Minister of Education Geraldine Namirembe Bitamazire says that teachers need to double their efforts to make sure that syllabuses are completed and students are getting enough testing before they sit for the examinations. Namirembe advises the students who will not be admitted in universities to use opportunities in other government and private tertiary institutions to continue pursuing their academic goals.