KAMPALA – The government has thwarted plans by Uganda Christian University (UCU) to offer online examinations to their students following the suspension of schools by the president in a bid to contain coronavirus.
The announcement was made by Minister of Education and Sports, Janet Museveni on Saturday, April 4, while addressing the nation on Ministry’s COVID-19 response plan.
“We have received several complaints and concerns that Some Universities are forcing students to pay for and do online examinations during this period yet, quite a number of 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,” said the minister who happens to be the First Lady.
Earlier alone, some Members of Parliament called on the Ministry to investigate why UCU was hell-bent on administering online examinations to its students, a move they described as defiant towards the presidential directive on closing all institutions of learning to help control the spread of Coronavirus in Uganda.
The MPs including Gilbert Olanya and Jacob Opolot, Chairperson Education Committee asked the Prime Minister, Ruhakana Rugunda to provide guidance regarding the Management of UCU who have gone ahead contrary to the Presidential directive, to ask students to prepare for online exams and asking parents/guardians to clear the school fees arrears.
Since the announcement of this plan in March 2020, UCU had gone on the defensive saying their April 6, 2020, online exams policy is within the presidential directive that called on institution of learning to come up with innovative ways to continue business.
UCU also issued a statement on it’s Facebook through the Vice Chancellor, John Senyonyi calling on students to disregard rumours making rounds that the exams had been called off, adding that the University is committed to helping it’s students and would provide internet data for students to download the examinations.
Senyonyi said, “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.”
In her address, Janet also directed all educational institutions not to levy any extra fees following the resumption of education programs in the current school term and also gave tentative program on when institutions of learning are likely to open.
She said, ‘If everything goes according to plan, pre-primary, primary, secondary schools and primary teachers’ colleges will open for the continuation of term-one on April 27 up to June 12, 2020. Term-two will start on June 22.”
Universities, according to the ministry are scheduled to reopen on May 2.
The Minister also revealed that there will be no formal tests or exams at the end of term one, “All the time must be used for teaching-learning. Cumulative end of topic-based results should be used on the end of term report,” said the minister.