Uganda Dispatch | UNEB Examinations Off To A Sleepy Start – By Arthur M. M. Katabalwa.

Posted October 13, 2015 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in UNEB ~ 2,930 views



Yesterday students sitting for their O level exams (S4) started off on a bad note. At many examination centers, the exams didn’t start off on time. Students resorted to sleeping on their desks as they waited for the papers to be delivered by the Uganda National Examinations Board, (UNEB). It was a farce. But the board apologized and they blamed it on the weather. It was raining yesterday as Uganda starts taking some of the anomalies associated with the weather event called El nino.

But this failure in time keeping is symptomatic to what is happening through our education system. The slack that is involved is unbelievable. I have had some time looking at what students are being taught and how they are being taught and the findings are scandalous.

First, the system is designed to make students pass exams not actually understand what they are being taught. A while ago, I had a look at what my nephews, who are not yet even ten were being taught and I was shocked. They were given homework which required them to use nouns and pronouns in the most complex constructions one can imagine. And they were doing it. I, however wondered if this was really needed. Maybe the kids of this generation are more clever than we were.

Then over the weekend I saw more homework given to a lad who is close to me of the same age being asked to describe things which can cause accidents in a home. I am not sure I even knew that the word “accident” existed when I was seven. But like a parrot, he correctly named broken glass and a number of other things. I was impressed.

When I was 15, I was taught in minute detail about the development of countries like the USA, why cities like Tokyo grew to their current size and what a “conurbation” means. I was never taught why Masaka exists where it is or why Lyantonde attracted so many people travelling. At that age, I was not even aware that Kampala was that close to Lake Victoria it could be a major port rivaling Mwanza and Bukoba. I knew the port was called Port Bell which was completely different from Luzira…..which in actual sense it is the same thing.

The business community has recently complained to the government that universities are spewing out graduates who are illiterate. And to a large extent I agree. One should prepare for themselves for any application forms if they are in position to receive any for the scourge of short texting is very apparent.

We are in a situation where our educational credentials will not be worth the paper they are written on when we have leading academicians and politicians like Professor Bukenya not being able to honor their words, flip flopping between political entities for purely personal gain. This is something that is permeating through the system from when we decide to take our children to nursery and deprive them of a childhood by expecting them to work at a level which is beyond what they should comprehend.

That is the situation of our education system where examination finals are arriving late and no one will take responsibility of the fiasco because of the rain. The students who are sitting these exams have faced all odds imaginable to get to that examination room. But also the truth of the matter is that even if they pass these exams, they may not be able to be worth anything because they have probably studied things that they didn’t want to in the first place. They have learnt parrot fashion from a teaching staff which in many cases are diverted to other things, not because they don’t want to teach but they have to survive.

So when UNEB delivers the exams late, they have no option but to put their heads down and sleep as is the whole system doing; asleep.The government is not interested in education only trumpeting the UPE system which in my view was a vote appeaser. I have spoken to a head teacher from a school near Kasanje in Wakiso district and he outlined the difficulties he faces. The government gives each student about UGX30000 per term (about $9). That is to cater for all their needs for a term which last about 12 weeks. Parents have been told that as the government pays for their kids education, they don’t have to pay for a thing. So students are arriving with no pens or paper and no snacks for the day. And to compound matters, teachers are being paid next to nothing so they have other businesses.

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Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.

One Comment


    Remember cramming and not understanding a lot of my o level stuff, perhaps that’s why am not a high flier today! Soounds like no change there then!!

    This is not cool it’s very concerning! We cannot have generations of young pple that cannot spell, read, speak in text speak and reason. the New breed of foreign investor needs competition. Aaaarrh rampant corruption, illeteracy and sleeping on the job not good combination for Ug. No one in charge as usual!! How are we ever gonna get to the promised land with no Moses!

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