Several secondary schools are struggling to administer Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) examinations after several students failed to clear fees. The affected schools say the defaulters have affected the operations of their schools, especially in preparations for examination requirements like reagents.
In Moroto High School in Moroto Municipality, the school demands more than Shillings 52million in fees arrears. The Headteacher, Twaha Chebet says that they have been reminding parents to clear the school dues but they keep pleading for more time, something that has rendered the school vulnerable.
Chebet says that as much as they have allowed the defaulters to sit exams, the school may not be able to pay the salaries of teachers under the Parents Teachers’ Association (PTA). The school has 221 students sitting for UCE the examination.
Edward Okwir, the Director of Studies at Moroto Parents Secondary School says that the high rate of school defaulters has prevented the school from equipping the laboratory meant for conducting practical examinations. The school used classrooms for the chemistry practical paper on Tuesday.
In Soroti Secondary School in Soroti City, more than 100 of the 750 students sitting for UCE examinations have not cleared fees. The Headteacher, Alfred Oluka Okiria says that much as the school invited parents to make commitments with the school on tuition fee payments, some didnt show up. Oluka says that the management will decide the fate of the fee defaulters after the UCE examinations.
On Monday, the Ministry of Education asked school heads to permit candidates with fees balances to sit the exams after the management of Mbale Progressive Secondary School allegedly blocked more than 50 candidates from accessing the examination halls. In a press statement issued on Tuesday Jennifer Kalule-Musamba, the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) reiterated the call for schools to allow fee defaulters to sit examinations. She notes that some of the cases had been reported to the police and brought to the attention of UNEB.
Writing of UCE examinations started on Monday, October 16, and will run until November 17, 2023. There are 364,421 registered candidates sitting for the UCE examination across the country.