Ministry of Education bans commercial examination centres

The Ministry of Education and Sports has in a circular banned schools from buying examinations from Commercial examination bureaus.

According to a letter the March 13 circular, buying examinations has led to loss of the professional conduct by assessing children with un-reliable test which do not follow the prescribed curriculum.

The Ministry says the act of buying examinations is not only unprofessional but also detrimental to the children’s future through a holistic education system.

“Many schools have taken the advantage of examination bureaus to exploit parents through uncalled for examination fees through daily tests, daily homework in all subjects, holiday tests, beginning of term tests, weekly tests and end of term tests. This practice gives the teachers no freedom to assess the learners capacity effectively, following the syllabus,” Ismail Mulindwa, the commissioner for private schools wrote.

Interviewed, Mulindwa said that teachers have to go back to professional ways of executing their duties though following the curriculum, writing schemes of work, deriving lesson plans.

“It is intended to remind the teachers to revert to the professional way of following the curriculum by writing the schemes of work and derive lesson plans from there for conducting effective lessons that will help the learners acquire knowledge and skills for personal and national development,” the circular reads.

The ban is likely to affect examination bureaus such as Wakisha in Wakiso, Masaka diocesan examination board,  Uganda Muslim Teachers Association (UMTA) among others.

According to the circular, the Ministry of Education and Sports asked  district, municipal education officers, inspectors of schools, coordinating centre tutors and head teachers to ensure that no commercial examination bureau operates in their areas of juruisdiction.

In August 2018, Municipal and Education officers under their umbrella body National Association of Municipal and District Education Officers-NAMDEO faulted the Education and Sports Ministry for failure to draft a policy regulating the operations of examination bureaus.