A teacher at Badru Kakunguru Memorial School in Kyazanga town council, Lwengo district, blocked a candidate from writing her final examination over unpaid school fees of 300,000 shillings.
Nazifah Nakato had turned up to sit the mathematics paper examination only to be told to wait until she cleared her outstanding school balance accrued from the last term.
Nakato, who was in tears, noted that she had changed to another school after registering for UCE on the account so that she could pay the school fees charged by Badru Kakunguru Memorial School.
“After registration, my parents could no longer afford the school fees of a private school.” But instead of dropping out completely, I suggested that I temporarily enroll in Mabirizi Seed Secondary pending the writing of the final examinations,” she noted.
However, on return, she was instructed by the head teacher to pay 400,000 Shillings for school fees in order to be allowed to sit for her final examinations at their center. It took the pleading of Nakato’s mother, Aidah Namutebi, to reduce the balance to 300,000 Shillings.
Namutebi says that although she accepted to pay, the money was not readily available.
In between Friday and Monday, I tried to hunt for the money in vain. The headteacher told me that she could not allow my daughter to sit.
Namutebi sought the help of Deputy RDC Robert Kambugu, who in turn engaged the school director, Suleiman Ssemugenyi, to allow the candidate to write her exams. But the mother also had to write a formal agreement committing to pay the money.
Eventually, the candidate was allowed to enter the examination room almost 15 minutes after her colleagues had started.
At Gulu College School, in Gulu City, the head teacher, Florence Akello, briefly blocked 46 candidates from writing their examinations.
Akello said that the school needed commitment letters from the individual candidates on how they would pay the school fee balance. However, she didn’t disclose how much the school owes the candidates in question. The fee structure of the school for senior four is 323,500 shillings per term.
Last Thursday, UNEB asked parents and school administrators to resolve any outstanding issues, including school fees, that may cause candidates inconvenience.
According to UNEB Executive Director Dan Odongo, such inconveniences may lead to failure or poor performance.
59 students who had previously been suspended for indiscipline were allowed to sit the exams at Nyakasura School in Fort Portal City if they commuted from home and were accompanied by police or their parents.
The students attacked security guards who had thwarted their attempt to flee the school.
The Rev Richardson Balinda, the school’s head teacher, said that because they are candidates, they must still take their exams but cannot be permitted to remain in school.