The Uganda Business and Technical Examinations Board (Ubteb) will effective January 1, 2024 start assessment and conduct of examinations for all candidates pursuing the Accounting Technicians Diploma (ATD) course across the country.
The move was announced by the CEO of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU), Derick Nkajja, during the release of the Ubteb July-August 2023 end of programme results in Nakawa last week.
Nkajja said that students currently registered under ICPAU will be allowed to complete their ATD course but no new students will be registered henceforth.
“As a country, the idea of working in isolation is long gone. We need to work together to skill people properly. Ubteb and ICPAU have set a precedence of streamlining and regulating the assessment and award of various TVET programmes,” Nkajja said.
He urged institutions to desist from offering students institutional-based certificates and transcripts that are no longer recognized by the government. In 2018, Ubteb and ICPAU signed a memorandum of understanding to enhance the competitiveness and smooth career progression of accounting-related programs in line with the Uganda Accountancy Qualifications Framework.
According to Nkajja, the board will streamline and harmonize all content in business/accounting programmes at the diploma levels to enable Ubteb graduates to benefit from course exemptions while pursuing CPA (U) programs offered by ICPAU.
For instance, if students complete a diploma in Accountancy with Ubteb, they will be exempted from attempting lower-level papers at the professional level (CPA). Ubteb, working with ICPAU, will accredit any tertiary institutions including universities that are interested in offering the ATD course.
While presenting the results, the Ubteb executive secretary, Onesmus Oyesigye, noted a decline in the overall pass rate of candidates. Out of the 3,051 candidates who registered for the exams, 2,615 turned up while 436 were absent in one or two modules. The absenteeism was attributed to failure by candidates to meet tuition fees, engagement in the job market, and sickness.
The board conducted the examinations from July 14 to 25, 2023 in 36 centers. Of the 2,615 who sat for the examinations, at least 2,106 successfully acquired all the competencies with better performance in Physical and Biology Sciences diploma courses.
The majority of candidates pursued National Diploma in Technical and Vocational courses. However, Oyesigye said this group of candidates underperformed in the Elementary Design of Structures, Estimating, and tendering, Measurement of Civil and Building Works, and Engineering Mathematics I & III.
“If we can solve issues around Engineering Mathematics [the biggest contributor to the low grades], we shall have better pass rates. I hope that this puzzle will be resolved by the institutions,” Oyesigye said.
These results are for cohorts that were not presented in the April-May series due to the staggered calendar in the tertiary institutions brought about by the Covid-19 lockdown. The state minister for Higher Education, Dr John C. Muyingo, who presided over the release, okayed the cancellation of the entire semester results for 55 candidates who were found guilty of exam malpractice.
“My ministry does not tolerate any form of malpractice. I have no kind words for such candidates. This is a painful decision for the country and parents who pay fees but I have no option but to cancel their results,” Muyingo said.
“These are technicians whose skills cannot be compromised once they are released to the job market. I, therefore, fully agree with the board’s recommendations.”
The affected candidates will be allowed to repeat these examinations when next offered by Ubteb in 2024.