No, Uganda’s exams board hasn’t announced online exams 

A Facebook post circulating in Uganda says the country’s examinations board is moving national school exams online. 

The post, on a page claiming to be the account of the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB), quotes Dan Odongo, the executive secretary of UNEB, speaking at a “press brief” on 15 July 2020. 

He apparently said: “If conditions persist, we are likely to consider having the Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE), Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) and the Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) exams done online.

“We have set up unique measures which will ensure a secure and flawless flow of the system. But that is if the conditions do not change by September.”

On 19 March, Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni announced the closing of all education institutions throughout the country, to prevent the potential spread of Covid-19. At the time there was no coronavirus reported in Uganda.

Has the exams board in fact offered to do exams online? We checked.

‘Registration of candidates on hold’, schools still closed

A circular published on 26 April on UNEB’s official website said it had not registered any candidates for the 2020 exams, meant to start on 1 April: “… on March 19, 2020, UNEB communicated to the public that ‘the registration of candidates would be put on hold until schools resume’. 

“This still stands as the official position of the Board. UNEB has not sent out any other notice about the commencement of registration or demanding payment of examination fees from schools.” 

There is no announcement of online exams on the website. 

‘Disregard rumours’, says government

The Uganda Media Centre, the government body that handles public communications, shared a screenshot of the Facebook post on Twitter, stamped “FAKE NEWS” in red.

The 17 July tweet reads: “FAKE NEWS: Please disregard rumours making rounds on social media, in regards to PLE, UCE and UACE to be executed online.” 

On 21 July Museveni announced the easing of restrictions put in place to slow down the spread of the Covid-19. But he said schools would remain closed. 

“Before September we shall have to make a big decision, either to open some of the schools, maybe the candidate classes, or to declare a dead year or whatever. But let’s not rush. Something may come up,” Museveni said. – Grace Gichuhi

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