After a period of anticipation, schools are finally set to start submitting students’ classroom-based assessments to the Uganda National Examination Board (UNEB).
The UNEB Executive Secretary, Dan Odongo confirmed this development, attributing the previous delay to the need for capacity building and the establishment of improved infrastructure for the recently revised lower secondary curriculum.
According to Odongo, the Board is still finalizing a few details, but they are now ready to begin receiving student scores in two weeks or shortly after.
Unlike the previous curriculum, which relied solely on final examinations, the revised lower secondary curriculum incorporates classroom-based assessments throughout the four-year cycle leading up to the Senior Four level. The classroom-based assessments, also known as continuous assessments, will account for 20 percent of the final national examinations.
According to the new curriculum, every subject includes a component of such assessment, and without it, learners will not receive grades from UNEB at the end of the cycle. Although these school-based scores were initially intended to be submitted starting from Senior One, this did not occur as the curriculum was launched in 2020 before the necessary mechanisms were fully in place.
During the same interview with our reporter, Odongo clarified and confirmed that UNEB will not rely on third-party data from the Ministry of Education, contrary to earlier expectations. Following the reopening of schools resulting from the closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Education introduced the Education Management Information System (EMIS) for learner registration.
In various circulars, the Permanent Secretary emphasized that EMIS, which comes with a unique learner identification number-LIN would among other things be used under the new curriculum to transfer student scores. Contrary to the use of the EMIS for learner identification, Odongo clarified that the Uganda National Examination Board will issue its own unique learner identification numbers.
Odongo further noted that the new LIN will replace the index number, so once a learner is allocated a LIN in Senior One, they will use that number throughout.
Earlier this year, educationists raised concerns about the fragmentation of data collection among different government agencies, with a lack of willingness to share data across platforms.
A specific example of this is the Uganda National Examination Board (UNEB) issuing separate Learner Identification Numbers-LINs, leading to learners possessing two distinct identifications numbers—one from the Ministry and another from UNEB.
Complicating matters further, learners also acquire national identification numbers through the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA).
Proposals have since emerged suggesting that UNEB and the Ministry should incorporate the National Identification Numbers (NIN) as the unique identifiers for learners.