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1.4 million candidates register for Uneb examinations

FILE UCE candidates being checked before their examinations last year

FILE UCE candidates being checked before their examinations last year

The Uganda National Examinations Board (Uneb) has closed the normal registration period with at least 1,453,369 candidates registering for the 2024 examinations at the primary and secondary levels.

In a statement issued on June 21, the Uneb spokesperson, Jennifer Kalule Musamba, noted that the board will conduct four sets of examinations this year. These are; Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE), Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) for both the new and old curriculum, and the Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE).

Of the 1,453,369 registered candidates, 51% are female and 49% male. Some 9,352 candidates will be examined under the old O-level curriculum. As pioneer candidates of the revised lower secondary curriculum prepare for their first set of Uneb final examinations, the board will concurrently conduct a one-off transitional examination for S4 candidates.

“This examination will allow anyone who qualifies to be assessed under the old curriculum. Adult learners intending to run for political offices in the 2026 elections and don’t have UCE certificates should use this offer,” Musamba said.

Normal registration for the transitional examination ended on June 21, 2024, from schools with Uneb center numbers or accredited examination halls countrywide. All S4 candidates who sat for examinations in 2023 or earlier and would like to improve their grades have been cleared to register.

This category also caters to candidates who registered last year but missed examinations. According to Uneb, candidates who failed to register in 2023 but sat PLE in 2018 or earlier also qualify for the one-off examination. Under this category, the government shall pay the registration fees for S4 candidates who sat PLE in 2018 and registered with any of the government-aided schools under Universal Secondary Education (USE).

ADULT S4 CANDIDATES

Adult candidates, 20 years and above, will require special permission from the board’s executive director, Dan Odongo, to sit exams under the old S4 curriculum. Musamba said this condition applies to Ugandan citizens only, who must also provide proof of age.

The normal registration fees are Shs 34,000 (PLE), Shs 164,000 (UCE), and 186,000 for UACE. The late registration window for all levels ends this month but attracts a surcharge of 100% for PLE, and 50% for UCE and UACE. The last phase of registration will take place in July, attracting a surcharge of 100% for all levels.

“Whereas the board provides for the last phase of registration in July, we want to encourage schools to register before this period because it is costly for both the schools and the board. We need to return approved registration lists to schools on time for any amendments to ease planning for the final examinations,” she said.

Uneb urged heads of centers of government-aided schools to ensure that all their candidates were covered under the normal registration period because the government would not pay the surcharges. The school heads will be tasked to cover the surcharges for late registration.

OBSERVATIONS

The chairperson of the National Private Educational Institutions Association (NPEIA), Hasadu Kirabira, requested Uneb to clarify about center numbers of S4 candidates registering under the old curriculum.

“In the previous notice, Uneb had informed us that they would issue a center number per district for these candidates but some schools are still stuck on how to go about it,” Kirabira said.

He urged head teachers to refrain from mismanaging candidates’ registration fees as they risk being reprimanded.

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