UNEB’s Odongo Not Amused By Candidates ‘Cracking Jokes’ In Exams

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Some of the candidates who sat for the Advanced Level Examinations last year, were ill-prepared and failed to answer any question as set, resorting to humour and other irrelevancies, according to the Executive Director of the Uganda National Examination Board (UNEB) Dan Odongo.

Speaking at the release of the results of the 2022 Uganda Advance Certificate of Examination-UACE this morning, Odongo noted that in some papers, some candidates decided to copy out questions several times and reproduce them on answer sheets. He added that another wrote a poem saying he was the stone that the builder refused, instead of answering the questions and later filled the answer sheet with names of musicians and their songs.

“One of those candidates decided to just copy out questions several times in one of the papers, while another wrote; “Dear Mr Examiner. You are still wasting time on me when there are more serious candidates?”. After writing “Now listen to my story,” he wrote a short poem starting with “I am the stone the builder refused….” He then listed the names of some famous musicians and their songs,” Odongo said.

Such actions, Odongo noted, have led examiners to doubt the seriousness and commitment of these candidates. He added that besides scoring a zero, the performance and comments made by some learners communicate an underlying problem which needs to be studied.

The high number of zero scores also attracted the attention of the State Minister for Higher Education John Chrysostom Muyingo saying that this is a serious issue that needs to be looked into.  Muyingo noted that UNEB needs to submit the names of the learners who scored zero and those who pleaded with the examiners, to find out what really could have been the problem.

Odongo observed that UACE builds upon the knowledge and skills that are evaluated at UCE. Its purpose is to assess the candidates’ capacity to understand and utilize knowledge in unfamiliar circumstances, exhibit skills in logical reasoning, conduct scientific experiments, analyze results, and draw appropriate conclusions.

Odongo further noted that candidates who were unable to pass the questions were hindered by their misunderstanding of the questions, and inability to describe, explain, interpret, and provide logical arguments or examples to support their answers. The questions that were more straightforward received better answers. Some candidates also resorted to using mnemonics to help them remember certain facts.

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