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UCE exams: Kisugu High School director remanded over detaining fees defaulters

Celestine Kasolo

Celestine Kasolo

Makindye Chief Magistrate's court has remanded Celestine Kasolo the director and teacher of Kisugu High School to Luzira Prison on 12  charges of disturbances at examination and wrongful confinement of senior four candidates.

Kasolo was arraigned before grade one magistrate Igga Adiru. Prosecution led by state attorney Carol Opa told the court that on October 26, 2023, Kasolo disrupted six candidates who were writing their final examinations at Kisugu High School in Makindye Division, Kampala district with intentions of disrupting the conduct of an examination at a place which had been designated as an examination center.

The candidates who were disturbed and missed the biology exam include; Daniel Achom, Robert Ojambo, Al Mahad Saddick, Nicholas Orionzi, Calvin Onyango, and Simon Peter Mandiko. The court also heard that Kasolo wrongfully detained the students in his office the whole day on indiscipline allegations.

He denied the charges and was remanded to prison until November 12 when he will return for his bail hearing. The same court also charged Abdul Karim Sseguya alias Fresh Karim a site helper and resident of Gangu A Zone Busabala Road Makindye Ssabagabo with unauthorized possession of examination materials.   

It is alleged that during the month of October 2023, through social media accounts, Fresh Karim willfully before or during Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) exams possessed Uganda National Examinations Board (Uneb) materials or information that purports to relate the contents of UCE 2023. He has equally denied the charges.

This is not the first time that a teacher has been charged before the courts of law over exam-related issues. Last month, Buganda Road Chief Magistrate's court remanded six people including headteachers to Luzira prison over alleged examination malpractice.

The examination cycle in Uganda is increasingly marred by malpractice, resulting in the withholding of thousands of results each year. One of the underlying factors contributing to this issue is the commercialization of the education sector, which has slowly infiltrated Uganda's educational landscape.

Year after year, a significant number of examination results are withheld due to malpractice, and Uneb has often attributed this problem to weak legal frameworks. However, with the introduction of a new Act, the board has established a robust mechanism for detecting and tracking suspected malpractice, leading to the arrest, prosecution, and sentencing of several individuals involved.

Last year, Uneb uncovered a racket involving teachers from Masaka allegedly leaking PLE scripts to candidates via social media. Furthermore, another group was apprehended on the examination day while attempting to unlawfully open a sealed PLE parcel. Their intent was to capture images and share them with their students before entering the examination room.

In addition to those who leaked Uneb papers, several schools and candidates in previous years fell victim to fake examination papers circulating on various social media platforms days before candidates were scheduled to sit for their exams. 

A total of 1,224,371 candidates have been registered to take their final examinations across the three education levels, namely the Primary Leaving Examination (PLE), Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE), and Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE).

UCE exams commenced on October 13, with the briefing of UCE candidates, and will continue until November 17, 2023. PLE will be conducted from November 7 to 9, 2023, while UACE will take place from November 10 to December 1, 2023.

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