The 2020 Primary Leaving Examination (PLE) officially begins today Friday 26th March 2021 with the briefing of candidates countrywide at the various examination centres.
The actual writing of the papers will however take place on Tuesday March 30 and Wednesday March 31, 2021. The examinations will be held under the theme; “Integrity and Security in the management of Examinations; the health and safety of learners is a joint responsibility.”
The field conduct of the examination will be handled by 138 District Monitors, 10,911 Scouts, 9,862 Supervisors and 30,027 Invigilators. An unspecified number of security officers are being deployed across the Country and will carry out both overt and covert operations to ensure the security of the examination, the field officers and the candidates.
Dan Odongo the UNEB Executive Secretary says a total of 749,811 candidates are expected to sit for this year's PLE from 14,300 examination Centres. This is an increase of 54,007 (7.8 %) from 2019. 58 of these candidates are inmates from Upper Prison School Luzira. 53% (395,855) of the total candidature are females while 47% (353,957) are males. 68.4% (513,091) are funded under the Universal Primary Education (UPE) Program, while 31.6 % (236,720) are non-UPE candidates.
1,599 candidates were registered to have Special Needs Education (SNE) requirements. These SNE learners will be given the necessary support. UNEB will avail braille question papers and answer sheets for the blind, large print question papers for those with low vision, sign language interpreters for the deaf, and transcribers for learners with dyslexia and those with severe physical impairments (reading and writing challenges). The SNE candidates will be allowed 45 extra minutes for each paper. The extra time also applies to candidates with advanced pregnancies that may show signs of pain or discomfort during the course of the examination. A total of 659 SNE personnel will be deployed to provide support.
Scouts and invigilators are encouraged to be vigilant and look out for the sensitive needs of the SNE candidates and support them appropriately. Support personnel sent by UNEB should also be accorded the necessary cooperation to enable them render the required support to the SNE candidates.
“Our theme this year is 'Integrity and security in the management of examinations; the health and safety of learners is a joint responsibility'. This theme underscores the importance the Board attaches to integrity and security, as well as health and safety. Everyone involved in the conduct of this examination is asked to act with high levels of integrity to ensure malpractice is controlled and the examination is secure. We appeal to all District Inspectors of Schools to ensure that sufficient numbers of invigilators are deployed per sitting centre to ensure that the candidates are properly supervised and the SOPs are followed in each examination room.”
Heads of Centres MUST ensure that the health and safety SOPs, as provided by the Ministry of Health, are fully observed.
During today's briefing head teachers, should, among other things, inform the candidates of the circumstances that may lead to disqualification or cancellation of the entire results. Such situations include but are not limited to; smuggling of unauthorised material inside the examination room; copying from one another or collusion, external assistance given by teachers, invigilators or any other person; prior knowledge of examination questions; impersonation; improper behaviour like disobeying, threatening or attacking examination officials; taking longer time than that stated on the question paper.
Teaching or coaching of candidates after today's briefing will also be regarded as a malpractice. Teachers are urged to desist from misleading the candidates with last minute coaching as this will lead them to lose focus.
“The Board strongly warns all persons contemplating involvement in any form of examination malpractice that they will be dealt with harshly. We are aware that there are people who have been vending question papers that they purport to be PLE papers. UNEB is working with the relevant security Agencies to closely monitor their actions and the public is cautioned against dealing with such masqueraders” Odongo says.
The public is also warned against circulating such question papers either through social media or any other channel. Anyone found doing so will also be held culpable of aiding examinations malpractice.
Members of the public with information that may lead to persons involved in suspected malpractice should call our toll free No: 0800-211-077. The informer will be protected under the Boards' Whistle Blower's policy.
He assured the candidates that they have what it takes to pass this examination. “The questions are drawn from what you have studied over the last seven years. We encourage you not to be misled by anyone claiming to have access to the PLE questions. This may lead to cancellation of your results. Please remain calm, confident, follow the instructions as well as the health and safety SOPs. We pray for God's blessing upon you and equally ask parents and well-wishers to continue praying for you as well” Odongo noted.
Adding that what they did at the start of UCE, they now request the religious leaders to offer prayers today, Friday, tomorrow Saturday and on Sunday for the peaceful conduct of the examination as well as the health and safety of the children who will write this examination.
May God bless all the candidates with divine health and reward all their efforts and may God bless all the persons involved in the conduct of the examination, may God bless our Country.