Another Year starts... but NO exam results?
Jerry Dugdale | January 27, 2014
"Exam Mania": a phrase usually associated with the actual exam season itself - but more to do with the feverish revision and taking of exams. Here and now in Uganda, it has taken on a totally different meaning. Everyone is talking about the results - but for the wrong reasons.
The whole country is anxiously waiting for the public exam results- O' level results, PLE results (the qualifiers for secondary school) and A' level results. Without these no student can progress to the next level of education. Exams were taken last October/November and therefore results were due last week and this week..
However, the national exam board recently announced that the results will not be out for a while - they do not have the funds to process the written papers and they cannot guarantee a new date. Stories and rumours abound - the computers have crashed, the government is withholding funds, the government don't have the money, the money has 'disappeared', the term will have to start 3 weeks late and students may have to be judged on their mock results.
It doesn't make sense - there is no news on the exam board website, but the mission statement is loud and clear: To ensure continued improvement of Quality, Validity and Reliability of Assessment and Evaluation of Curriculum and Learners' Achievements. Hmmm.. this rings very hollow at the moment.
Teachers, Parents and Students are understandably annoyed and upset. The real losers, in this seemingly endless cycle of gossip and headlines, are the young people who worked so hard to take the exams and have to pay substantial exam fees to pay for papers and marking. About 700,000 school students are now having to play a waiting game - while the professionals sort out the mess.
The current Coca Cola advertising campaign proclaims that there are 'A Billion Reasons to Believe in Africa' - which may well be the case, but it certainly does not include the Uganda National Examinations Board. As they say on the report cards: " Poor result. Must try harder. You pull up next term."
And so back to some very positive and exciting news about the new school year at WTA........
Final preparations are taking place at the Volunteers' House to make sure that all is ready for the arrival of Stan and Sue Rothwell later this week. No time really to be writing lengthy news articles - there are curtains to make, pots and pans to buy, mosquito nets to hang, furniture to shift and areas to landscape - a mixture of 'Changing Rooms' and 'Groundforce' all in one week. (Best of all, there are flushing loos that work plus taps with hot and cold running water - a major attraction for this years' team trips perhaps?!) Elspeth