Kampala – Edward Tabu, the Director of His Will Junior School Bulenga is in police custody for preventing a candidate from sitting their Primary Leaving Examination (PLE) due to unpaid school fees.
According to available information, Tabu had previously warned the affected candidate that she would not be allowed to sit for the exam unless her parents cleared the outstanding fees balance.
The arresting police officer who asked not to be named because he is not authorized to speak to journalists, said that when the school denied the candidate to sit exams, the parent took the matter to the police which tried to save the day by taking the girl to the centre where they are sitting. He however, said that by the time they arrived there, the paper was nearly complete hence resulting in the arrest of the director.
“On the morning of the examination, the candidate arrived, but the director insisted that she could not participate. Despite discussions, the candidate ultimately missed the examination,” a source told URN. Our reporter has verified this information with the UNEB examination monitoring team, and Jennifer Kalule confirmed that the school director is currently detained at Bulenga police station
The recurring issue of school directors and headteachers obstructing candidates from taking their examinations has been a longstanding concern, drawing public attention over the years.
In an effort to prevent incidents like this, UNEB has introduced a mechanism allowing schools to report individuals with outstanding fees, preventing them from accessing their results until the fees are settled. Importantly, this measure does not hinder the students from participating in the examination itself.
On Tuesday, UNEB Executive Secretary Dan Odongo addressed the issue, urging schools not to deny candidates the opportunity to take exams. Instead, he encouraged schools to utilize UNEB’s portals to communicate information about students with unpaid fees.To further address such challenges, the new UNEB act includes a provision that allows legal action against headteachers and others who obstruct duly registered candidates from sitting for examinations.
This provision was recently enforced when Celestine Kosolo, the school director at Kisugu High School, was charged and remanded to Luzira by the Makindye chief magistrate. Kosolo faced 12 counts related to disturbances at examinations, as outlined in section 30, clause 1 of the UNEB act.
Meanwhile, UNEB says that the first papers of the Primary Leaving Examination (PLE) proceeded smoothly without any disruptions.
“We faced a few challenges in some areas where it rained in the morning, but generally, the overall conduct of the examination was smooth,” she said.
Tomorrow, Thursday November 9th is the second and last day the P7 candidates are writing their PLE.