DOSSIER! Education expert Jonathan Kivumbi, questions Minister Muyingo’s influence in the management of UNEB exams

Higher Education State Minister, John Chrysostom Muyingo (PHOTO /Courtesy)

KAMPALA — Those of you who have read about the Toyota Production System (TPS) must be very conversant with this principle, that states, ‘Improve quality, by exposing the wrong’.

This means, for high quality output to be realized, the truth, and nothing, but the truth, no matter what, should be stated. So, today’s write-up, shall rotate, around this principle, with emphasis on the selection of UNEB marking centres. Time immemorial, UNEB has relied on the services of selected schools, in performing its duties, of which marking, is part, and it appears like, the public is green about how this is done.

Yes, as provided for, in this write-up, UNEB business, of which marking, is part, is done in selected schools. For example, out a total of the forty (40) marking centres, used by UNEB in the marking of the 2020 UNEB examinations at all the three levels of instruction, 28 of them were/are privately owned, implying that government had only 12 schools. And out the 28 private schools, Dr. Muyingo’s Seeta high schools, had three.

These included Seeta High School, Main campus; Seeta High School, Green campus, and Seeta High School, Mbalala campus. Twelve (12), out of the forty (40) marking centres, were earmarked for the marking of PLE, while UCE and UACE examinations, were both marked in twenty (20) and eight (8) marking centres, respectively, with Dr. Muyingo, as already mentioned, being well-represented.

The UCE examinations were marked in only four (4) districts, and these were-Wakiso, Mukono, Kampala, and Luweero, with Wakiso having the lion man’s share, since it had a total of ten (10) school, earmarked as UNEB marking centres. Mukono, came second, with a total of eight (8) schools, used as UNEB marking centres, and please be reminded that, out of these eight (8), Dr. Muyingo, had three (3). Very interesting! Both Kampala and Luweero, had only one (1) school, each.

You also need to be reminded that among those schools with the biggest number of examiners, and moreover, in the core subjects, at both levels of instruction, are Dr. Muyingo’s, Seeta high schools, with many of them, at the senior level. Without any doubt, the total number of examiners in only one campus of Seeta high schools, say, Seeta High School, Main, Green, or Mbalala campus, is way-too greater than that of many of our districts, across the country.

For heaven’s sake, who, exactly in UNEB can convincingly explain this, more so, to any informed, sane, person in possession of exceptional observation and analytical skills, surely?

It is, in fact, partly against this background, that, I, throughout all my correspondences, officially addressed to both the President and Education Minister, Maama Janet Museveni, including those published by Ugstandard, has continued to demand for an overhaul in UNEB, alongside an independent audit, in an effort to dig deeper into the way UNEB conducts its business.

Throughout his life, Shiekh Muzaata, a renowned vocal Muslim cleric, decried, what he often referred to as discrimination in the appointment of cabinet and state ministers. According to him, he strongly believed, the appointing authority sidelined Muslims, when it came to the appointment of cabinet and state ministers.

This might, perhaps be considered an allegation, or an assertion, depending on how you look at it. However, I strongly believe, that by the end of this analysis, many of (if not, all of you) will not fail to agree with this deceased man of God [Shiekh Muzzaata].

After taking a closer look at the 2020 UNEB marking centres, you will realize that out of the forty (40) marking centres, as already mentioned, the Muslim Community, was represented by only three (3) schools, compared to the Catholic Church, which was represented by a total of twenty (20) marking centres.

After the Catholic Church, was/ is the Anglican Church, which came/comes second with a total of eight (8) schools, while the Muslim Community, as earlier stated, came in the third (3rd) position with a total of three (3) schools, and in the forth (4th), and, of course, last position, was the Seventh-day Adventist Church, with a total of only two (2) schools.

Efforts to identify the religious affiliation of the remaining seven (7) schools have been rendered futile, since the persons contacted, provided me with varying answers. But, nonetheless, I strongly believe, you now have a rough picture of how the different religious affiliations in the country, are represented when it comes to marking of UNEB examinations.

Now I know, since we are just from sending off Metropolitan Yona Lwanga, the Archbishop of the Orthodox Church in Uganda, many of you are now going to start asking me about those schools that represented the Orthodox Church, in the exercise.

Others might even start assuming that those schools whose religious affiliation has not been identified could perhaps be part of the Orthodox Church. Far from it! Truth is, the Orthodox Church did not have any of its schools, used in the marking of UNEB examinations. And I highly doubt, if it has ever been accorded this opportunity, by the Board.

Should we assume, this is because its most prominent and recognized personality in government, Honourable Theodore Ssekikubo, has still failed to make it to cabinet, for all the time he has been in politics? Or, is it because, none of the Church’s schools fulfils the requirements of a marking centre, as required by UNEB?

And please be reminded that, out of the 20 Catholic Church founded schools, Dr. Muyingo’s Seeta high schools, as already discussed, had three (3) centres, implying that, Dr. Muyingo alone, with his Seeta high schools, complex, had an equivalent of the total number of Muslim schools, and, of course, a bigger number, than the Adventist Church. Worth noting still, is that, Dr. Muyingo alone, with his Seeta high schools, of course, had almost half the number of the Anglican Church schools, countrywide. Hmmmmm!

Of course, it is crystal clear, that, when it comes to management, particularly marking of UNEB examinations, Dr. Muyingo, and his Seeta high schools, automatically override the Orthodox Church. I am yet to find out, if Metropolitan Yona Lwanga, prior to his death, had prior knowledge of this.

Thankfully, Honourable Theodore Ssekikubo, is readily available, I will endeavour to get in touch with him, to find out, exactly why this is happening this way.

The schools that were used by UNEB as marking centres were divided into three groups-those that were used in the marking of PLE, UCE, and UACE examinations.

As already mentioned, PLE was marked in 12 marking centres, and these included Global Junior School, Mukono; Hormisdallen Primary School, Wakiso; Hilton High School, Mukono; Namilyango Junior Boys’ School, Mukono; St. Joseph of Nazareth S.S., Mpigi; Bishop’s S.S., Mukono; Ndejje S.S.S.; Luweero; St. Janan S.S., Bombo (Luweero); Lubiri S.S., Kampala; Budo Junior School, and St. Andrew’s Kaggwa, Gombe High School, Kampala.

Please be reminded that, unlike the other ten (10) schools, both Lubiri S.S., and Bishop’s S.S., Mukono, are officially registered, and, therefore recognized as day schools, by the Ministry of Education and Sports, and we all know that marking of UNEB examinations, MUST (and please kindly mark the word, ‘must’), as a matter of policy, be residential.

So, if marking must be residential, how then, according to UNEB, did day schools acquire marking status? Could these be some of the very many public day schools that have opened up hitherto unknown boarding facilities, hence denying many children access to education, as required by law?

UCE Examinations were marked from twenty (20) marking centres, as earlier discussed, and these included Namugongo S.S. and Vocational School, Wakiso; St. Joseph’s S.S., Naggalama (Mukono); Nabisunsa Girls’ School, Kampala; Our Lady of Good Counsel, Gayaza (Wakiso); Seeta High School, Green campus (Mukono); Mt. St. Mary’s College, Namagunga (Mukono); Uganda Martyrs S.S., Namugongo (Mukono); Exodus College School, Wakiso; St. Charles Lwanga International School, Kakiri (Wakiso); St. Theresa Namagunga Boarding Primary School (Wakiso) Merryland High School, Katabi campus (Wakiso); St. Mark’s College, Namagoma (Wakiso); Mpoma School, Mukono; Kawanda S.S., Wakiso; Seeta High School, Main campus (Mukono); Bethany High School, Naalya (Wakiso); Mbogo Mixed S.S., Kawanda (Wakiso); Seeta High School, Mbalala campus (Mukono); Mt. St. Henry’s High School, Mukono, and St. Peter’s S.S., Bombo, Kalule (Luweero)

You will notice that, all the three marking centres of Seeta high schools, as can be seen above, concentrated on the marking of STRICTLY, UCE Examinations. For goodness sake, according to UNEB, why was this, done this way? Precisely, what criteria were followed, before arriving at this decision? And still, why is it that all the three (3) Muslim-based schools, focused at the marking of only UCE Examinations, surely, yet the only two Seventh-day Adventist-based schools, were distributed among PLE and UCE Examinations?

Of course, do not ask me why, out of the 20 marking centres, the Catholic Church, had a total of 11 marking centres, at this level, as the reason, here is already obvious-it had/has the largest number of marking centres.

As earlier stated, the UACE Eaminations were marked from eight (8) marking centres, and these included Kisubi Mapeera S.S., Wakiso; Irima Pheiffer, Wakiso; St. Michael International School, Wakiso; St. Juliana High School, Manyangwa (Wakiso); Bishop Kihangire, S.S., Luzira (Kampala); St. Mary’s College School, Wakiso; King’s College, Budo (Wakiso), and Gayaza High School, Wakiso. Notice that out of these eight (8) marking centres, six (6) are Catholic-based, while two (2) are Anglican-based.

According to UNEB, why was/is this so? Precisely, why is it that the other two religious affiliations that were represented in the marking exercise, were not represented at this level?

It should also be noted that, out of the eight (8) listed marking centres, seven (7) were from Wakiso district, while, out of the five districts, represented in the marking exercise, only one district, and that is, Kampala, was represented, with only one school. For heaven’s sake, according to UNEB, why was/is this so?

In other words, why is it that 99% of marking of UACE Eaminations, was limited to only Wakiso? Do you now see why Sheikh Muzaata, kept on reminding the appointing authority, about the need to increase the number of Muslim appointments to cabinet? Do you realize the reason why different religious institutions (leaders) are struggling to have representatives to cabinet?

However, the one million dollar question here is: Now that religious institutions like the Orthodox Church, as already discussed, does not have even a single minister, in cabinet, how should they, go about this issue, surely?

In other words, how should the Orthodox Church, seek representation, in cabinet, surely? And is it because the only minister, Honourable Aida Nantaba, that the Adventist Church, had in cabinet, was dropped from cabinet, that the number of Adventist-based schools relied upon by UNEB, in marking its exams, is limited to only, two?

But even then, while still minister, was this number, any bigger? Did she even know, of course, based on the aforementioned analysis, that religious representation, in cabinet, matters, a great deal, when it comes to UNEB examinations?

Of course, whoever is doubting this, must be ill-informed, or not, informed, at all-the reason he/she is strongly advised to re-read this write-up, until he/she is convinced beyond doubt, that religion has proven to be an outstanding factor, in as far as capturing newspaper headlines, whenever UNEB results, are released, is concerned.

In fact, I strongly believe, of course, based on the aforementioned analysis, backed-up by the statistical evidence provided for, therein, moreover, one can neither be condemned, nor crucified, that because the Catholic Church was represented by two ministers, that is, Honourable Rosemary Sseninde and Dr. John Chrysostom Muyingo, it definitely had to walk-away with the lion man’s share, in terms of UNEB marking centres.

Is there anybody, in fact, including Dr. Muyingo, himself, or any of his accomplices, that is still doubting Dr. Muyingo’s influence in the entire process of conductiong and co-ordinating UNEB examinations, of which marking, is part, surely?

In your opinion, don’t you think Dr. Muyingo has overpowered UNEB and the Education Ministry, at large , including the First Lady/minister, Maama Janet Museveni, herself, surely?

For goodness sake, while presiding over the ministry’s business, of which overseeing business in UNEB is part, how does Dr. Muyingo deal with these two highly sensitive conflicting roles-State Minister for Higher Education and chief executive officer (CEO) of Seeta pre-primary, primary, and high schools, at the same time, surely?

And when should the public tell that Dr. Muyingo is now speaking as minister/CEO of the aforementioned schools? Precisely, when should the public distinguish between Dr. Muyingo, the minister, and Dr. Muyingo, the CEO of Seeta schools? So, at the release of these results, does Dr. Muyingo, appear at the function, as a minister, or as a CEO of the already named schools or both?

With 146 districts, across the country, why is it that UNEB has decided to restrict marking of its examinations to only the aforementioned five (5) districts, surely, yet these examinations are done, countrywide?

Have the members of Parliament (MPs) that hail from the unrepresented districts ever laboured to find out why this is the case, and why it has been done this way, time immemorial? Precisely, have these MPs ever put the minister to task to justify this, very unjust, arrangement, surely?

For goodness sake, according to UNEB, if we can have these exams done in Arua, Gulu, Kotido, Kamwenge, Kabale, Kisoro, Dokoro, Busia, Mbale, Kiboga, Ntungamo, Jinja, Mbarara, and all those other districts, across the country, why can’t we have them marked there, surely?

And now that education has turned into one of the most lucrative businesses (if not, the most lucrative), in Uganda, with increase in the rate of cut-the throat competition, why is it that UNEB has continued doing its business, of which marking, is part, in selected schools/districts as well , surely?

So, in this regard, according to UNEB, how possible is it for them, as a Board, to restrict, say, staff members, notably, teachers and all those other stakeholders of the host school, from the marking centre, aware of the fact these have the right to access their premises, at any time of the day, surely?

Precisely, how does UNEB limit its examiners from rubbing shoulders with teachers and the other stakeholders of the host school?

And if conductiong of UNEB business, of which marking, is part, is considered normal practice, why can’t we have the Electoral Commission, carry out the tallying of votes, and the subsequent declaration of the winners, that follows, done at selected headquarters premises, of the competing parties?

Why doesn’t the Electoral Commission, for example, ear-mark, Kyadondo (NRM), Najjanankumbi (FDC), Kamwokya (NUP), and City House (DP), as tallying centres, during the election period?

And by the way, how do these schools get to know about this whole arrangement, yet no advertisement, of the same, is done by UNEB? Precisely, how do these schools, get to know that UNEB needs premises for setting, or marking its exams?

Who signs the agreement on either side? In other words, who signs the agreement on behalf of the host school? And who represents UNEB in this deal?

What are the terms and conditions followed before sealing the deal?

But even then, why is it that all this happens behind the curtains? In other words, why is it that UNEB does not officially advertise this facility, such that interested parties can send in their bids?

Don’t you think, ear-marking particular schools, for UNEB business, of which marking is part, is itself a form of examination malpractice?

Honestly speaking, there are so many unanswered questions surrounding the conduct of business in UNEB, all which cannot be exhaustively outlined in this brief.

However, since as earlier noted, the relevant authorities, that is, the President, together with the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, Maama Janet Museveni, already have details of majority of these questions, with answers provided, therein, at their desks, you will allow me, end this write-up, at this point, as we patiently wait for their pronouncement on the matter.

I, will, however, leave you with these two million dollar questions before signing out: In your opinion, as a person who has been following up, on the happenings in UNEB, with specific reference, to conducting and co-ordinating UNEB exams, or basing on the analysis, given above, who exactly, do you think UNEB is serving?

Put differently, do you think UNEB is serving Uganda, as a country, or the private investor, of which Dr. Muyingo, is part?

And, secondly is there anyone who is still asking themselves, why all the country’s highly recognized traditional schools, moreover, in all aspects, across the country, have literally, collapsed, apart from, a handful, in the central region, surely?

Jonathan Kivumbi

Educationist-communication and language skills analyst

0770880185 (WhatsApp 0702303190) [email protected]

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Rogers Nkoko

    25/09/2021 at 7:26 PM

    You really have a good point but unfortunately presented as a quarrel. Go to UNEB and find out the criteria for selecting the marking centres, the examination centres, the area supervisory centres, the storage centres, etc.

    In fact if you have one for any of the services, apply for service provision and I hope you will learn why you qualified or failed.

    The reasons, before thinking of discussing the Muyingo issue of influence, as to why marking is not done at examination centres may be a little obvious if you are objective.

    Better, if your interest is not the limelight, to find out the truth and feed us with that than presenting an abstract question to a puzzled public that lacks information.

    Rogers N.
    [email protected]

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