Invigilator Arrested for Assisting Candidates to Cheat Exams

The Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) In conjunction with the Police, has arrested an invigilator for allegedly assisting candidates to answer questions in the ongoing Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education examinations.

Available information shows that the invigilator identified as Ambrose Muhiira, who had been deployed at Rauzha Secondary School in Mpigi was found by someone trying to give answers during a Geography paper one examination.

Jennifer Kalule, the Uneb spokesperson has confirmed the development noting that when the incident happened the area supervisor alerted Police which later picked the suspect. Kalule says that the teacher is currently held and investigations into the matter have since commenced. 

With reports of examination leakages reducing, Uneb has said that impersonation and getting external assistance are the two other main forms of malpractice that are currently occurring in many schools at all levels.

Receiving outside help, in particular, typically occurs when school administrators and candidates collude with invigilators, scouts, and other Uneb officials who are supposed to monitor examination centres. Informal reports, some from Uneb officials, indicate that invigilators are paid to look aside as teachers cheat or even write answers for candidates.

In order to curtail this vice, the board decided to ensure that no invigilator, in UCE and UACE examinations which go for a long time, is permanently deployed on a given station throughout the examination period.

Kalule says that this is one of the reasons why Police are still investigating the matter to understand whether there are other individuals who might have played part in the aforementioned vice.

According to the UNEB Act 2021 Section 26, anyone who negligently permits unauthorised assistance to be given to a candidate while serving as a supervisor, invigilator, scout, monitor, or special needs education support personnel commits an offence and is subject to a fine of up to 20 million shillings or five years in prison, or both, upon conviction.

In addition to the sentence that can be imposed on an invigilator for encouraging malpractice if he or she is a registered teacher, the act states that such a person will also face discipline in accordance with the applicable laws governing the teaching profession – such can be disqualification from teaching profession.   

Meanwhile, Police have also arrested three teachers from different primary schools led by one Sulaiman Mubiru, who had opened up a Whatsapp group where they were sharing examination related materials.

It is said that Mubiru was arrested from Nsangi areas and our reporter has learnt that he has been on Uneb’s watch list of those suspected to be vending examination for years. Commenting on this specific matter, Kalule noted that the group was sharing fake papers, purported to be  PLE examination. But, regardless of whether the shared papers were fake, the new Uneb act categories this as malpractice.

To avoid being at the wrong side of the law, Kalule advises the public that once some shares a paper, fake or otherwise, social media users should desist from further sharing it as they will also be laid liable once arrested.

In the same development, Uneb has arrested two candidates from Katooke SS in Kyenjojo after being found with mobile hand phone handsets in the examination room and another two were arrested from Westville High School in Fort Portal city for impersonation.

The board has been tracking efforts to apprehend those people implicated in malpractice since the Uneb legislation was reinforced. While the initial cases reported during UCE and PLE were swiftly handled and individuals were brought before court, there has recently been some delay in the process, which is creating worries.

A case involving five students at St. Francis Secondary School in Kawempe who hired mercenaries to compose their papers is one of the instances that has been delayed. Suspects in this case, including a headteacher on bail for another malpractice-related case, haven’t appeared in court for a week.

Kalule said that Uneb is equally bothered by the delay but they are powerless to do anything about it because the police and Directorate of Public Prosecutions are in charge of the process.

“Since the candidates in these cases are presumed innocent unless proven guilty, we have let them continue writing their papers. We wish that the police would swiftly wrap up their investigations into the various incidents,” she added.   

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