The Uganda National Examinations Board [UNEB] is funded by the taxpayers’ money to do its mandate of managing some of the national examinations such as Primary Leaving Examinations [PLE], Uganda Certificate of Education [UCE] examinations and Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education [UACE] examinations.
Over time, we have seen major newspapers publish in detail the performance of different schools and districts in these national examinations and the public and parents are always eager to read these details in newspapers, after all, pupils and students pay fees and examination fees to sit for these examinations.
On January 27, 2023, UNEB released PLE results and the results were published in major dailies. On February 9, 2023, UNEB again released UCE results, and the public expects to read details in the newspapers. They are also waiting to read UACE results in the same newspapers, when they are released in the weeks ahead.
What is shocking, and which is a big scandal in the country, is that the newspapers have been paying UNEB to have the examinations results published. I am told the fee has been rising over time, from Shs 5 million to Shs 10 million now and this is disgusting and should be handled by responsible government agencies.
Being a government-funded agency, one would think UNEB is illegally selling copies of examination results to the media to publish. The media houses publish examination results as a matter of public interest and as such, UNEB should just give media houses examinations results free of charge, which plays the role of informing and educating the public.
I am also wondering if UNEB has been paying taxes to Uganda Revenue Authority [URA] after selling examination results to the media houses. I would also want to know if UNEB officials have this money generated from media houses in their official revenue records.
Further, I would also want to know if the Ministry of Education and Sports is aware that UNEB sells examination results to media houses to publish. I think that some officials in both institutions could have connived and are eating this money without Parliament, and cabinet knowing.
Meanwhile, I have seen one of the leading dailies in the country calling upon schools to give to bring copies of examination results to be published free of charge. I think that the media houses are tired of buying the documents from UNEB officials who are selling the results illegally.
I would also want to know if the Auditor General is aware that UNEB has over the decades been selling the examination results to the media and if the revenue can be found in UNEB’s audit books of account.
I think that the media is doing a great job by publishing examination results, UNEB must be stopped from selling the results. They eat from government coffers, parents pay examination fees, and since UNEB has never advertised that it sells national examination results, it is a national scandal to hear it sells the same to media houses who publish the same results for free.