The Education and Sports Minister, Janet Kataaha Museveni has announced that no education institution will be allowed to administer examinations to learners until the ongoing lockdown over the coronavirus pandemic is lifted.
The Minister’s pronouncement follows an uproar against the Mukono based Uganda Christian University (UCU) that was planning to conduct online end of semester exams for its students.
In a televised speech in which she outlined her ministry’s COVID-19 response plan, Mrs. Museveni who also doubles as Uganda’s First Lady said, until the coronavirus crisis is contained, no exams should be conducted.
“We have received several complaints and concerns that some universities are forcing students to pay for and do online examinations during this period yet several students do not have the required facilities and money to do them. We have therefore decided that all these examinations be suspended until we are out of this crisis,” the Minister said.
Last week, a group of MPs led by the Chairperson of the Education Committee, Jacob Opolot (Pallisa) and Gilbert Olanya (Kilak South) urged the Ministry of Education and Sports to investigate UCU’s motive in administering online examinations to its students.
To the MPs, the university was acting in defiance of the presidential directive on the closure of all educational institutions to avert the spread of coronavirus in Uganda.
This was as the MPs asked the Prime Minister, Ruhakana Rugunda to guide on the developments at UCU which had gone ahead to ask its students to prepare for online exams, and, at the same time asked parents/guardians to clear the university dues.
The exams had been planned to kick-off on Monday, April 6, 2020.
The university in a statement posted online claimed that its online exams policy is within the presidential directive that called on institutions of learning to come up with innovative ways to continue business.
The university’s Vice-Chancellor, Dr. John Musisi Senyonyi further through a Facebook post urged the students to disregard rumours that the exams had been called off, adding that the university is committed to helping its students and would provide internet data for students to download the examinations.
“I don’t want you to grow lax about preparing for your exams. It is our commitment to help you complete your Easter semester 2020 so that when you return for your studies, you will not need to retake your final week of study exams which would cost you since the University is expending on this exercise,” Ssenyonyi said.