On October 17, 2011 I wrote as follows:
It is the norm that towards examination time every year there are children who miss out simply because the head teachers have eaten the money. Mr. Bukenya’s team was advised to get a system that would get all the students who pay money during the stipulated time qualify to do the UNEB exams. What happened was that after raising the matter more than once, UNEB claimed that it was the Ministry of Education to authorize the new approach, but seemed to be reluctant to ensure that the matter was handled to have this missing of exams become history. This is a good characteristic of our under development. The method proposed to them has no way of getting students miss exams, only if it is UNEB’s mistake. Hopefully UNEB administration can see this matter addressed conclusively; we should not see students who have paid exam fees miss due to the corrupt and senseless ‘head teachers’ in some of our schools.
The head teachers and school directors argue that they need to come up with own fees in addition to what UNEB officially charges, this against the background that when they go to buy the requirements for the examinations more so the practical subjects where the cost of the equipment in some instances either doubles or more than doubles when the exams are due as of now. The head teachers argue that UNEB should make arrangements to have the equipment and materials available to them so that they get these items at the ruling market prices instead of falling victim to the businesses that exploit them. A case in point is the tiny spring balances for Physics practicals which have been at shs 4,000 are now at shs 25,000 to 30,000. These developments among others are the reason why head teachers wish to charge students/parents so that they retain the balance on remitting what is due to UNEB.
William Kituuka Kiwanuka
I had also written to UNEB as follows:
The Chief Executive Officer
RE: HANDLING EXAMINATION FEES
I happen to be a parent who paid shs 108,000/- under pressure for my child who was in S 4 last year. When parents request UNEB to help receive the official examination fees they are really at pain. It was disturbing to learn from the CBS Programme of Good Friday when the PRO of UNEB was hosted and not only was the programme presenter shocked to learn that some schools were charging twice the official fee but also the parents who rang into the programme!
We ought to have solutions to these problems. The solution is simple. UNEB should open up Collection Accounts at least one bank/financial institution in a locality, have the official fee announced (and the time lag with in which payments should be done). The parents would then bank the money and submit a copy of the pay-in slip to the school and retain the third copy. The school would then submit the list of students who have to be registered together with copies of the deposit slips to UNEB. There would be no additional work by UNEB; but parents would pay the right fee for exams.
If schools have additional payments to be made; first there is no reason why these have to be requested at the time when exam fees are being submitted. I think this can be done over a period of time up to the exam time. And the parents should be clear of what they are paying for. UNEB should also be clear on what schools have to spend on say chemicals and other requirements for science practical examinations for which additional payments may be justified. It is sad that the parents are taken for a ride simply because they have to see their children sit for the papers.