Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) has revealed that the recent leakage of the Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) examinations was initiated in Iganga district. The leakage was traced to a storage centre at Busesa in Iganga where the area supervisor connived with a UNEB scout to access the contents of the exams.
A total of 26 people including teachers, a school Director and a UNEB scout have so far been arrested in connection with the leakage. Twenty four (24) of those arrested were teachers in different private good schools from various parts of Uganda including Entebbe, Mbarara and Mukono.
Last week, the media was awash with reports that some Senior Four candidates and teachers had obtained copies of the UCE exams particularly Chemistry and Christian Religious Education (CRE) prior to sitting the examinations.
Screenshots of the said examination papers had been circulated on social media especially and the perpetrators allegedly solicited for as much as Shs 500,000 for each paper.
UNEB Executive Secretary Dan Odongo told the press on Wednesday that with the help of the police, two teachers were apprehended who then linked the investigation to others sources that supplied them with the examination questions.
“It became clear that the main source was in Iganga. A very key suspect was arrested and they revealed a source from a storage station in Busesa, towards Tororo,” Odongo said.
“The scout at this station was arrested yesterday Tuesday and he confessed to having gotten Shs 1 million in exchange for surrendering the key to the storage station which he was supposed to have protected,” the UNEB Executive Secretary added.
He was however hesitant to reveal identities of those arrested as well as the private schools.
According to Odongo, the motive of the malpractice was majorly financial but to a lesser extent, the desire by teachers to have they schools perform well.
He refuted recent allegations that the leak was linked to the UNEB printing press and the Board’s staff.
Deputy Police Spokesperson SSP Polly Namaye said that the leak was spread through a network of people in different regions using social media platforms and that police is still pursuing more accomplices.
She said that 5 of the suspects are being detained in Entebbe, 5 in Mbarara and Ibanda, 4 in Bunyangabu, 3 in Serere, 1 in Amuria, 9 in Kampala and 1 in Iganga.
“The suspects are going to be arraigned before court and have charges relating to the Computer Misuse Act and the UNEB Act. We are still hampered by the ongoing Prosecutors’ industrial action,” Namaye said.
“Using our Media Desk, we have intensified surveillance and we shall track down those using social media to leak examinations,” she added.
Asked to comment on the likely penalties that the leakage could attract, Odongo highlighted; withholding and cancellation of UNEB results, prosecution and administration action which includes deregistering the teachers.
He attributed the incident to the over commercialization of education in Uganda which has forced teachers to surrender their professional ethics for the sake of good UNEB results. “Cheating exams is the surest way to destroy education which in turn destroys the country,” he said.