Registration fees misuse will attract penalties on school heads, according to a new bill that was tabled in parliament by the Education Minister John Crystom Muyingo.
According to the new Uganda National Examinations Board Bill 2020, headteachers will be charged and fined amounts ranging from UGX 20 million to UGX 40 million for engaging in examination malpractices.
Besides, in the new bill, the government intends to penalize school heads who misappropriate candidates’ registration fees paid by candidates to facilitate them to sit for their final examinations.
Although there are other fees that parents pay after agreeing in there PTA meetings, these are not accounted for the official registration fees.
UNEB doesn’t acknowledge the existence of additional fees, and in case there are any increments in the official registration fees, these are communicated in a years’ advance.
However, UNEB does, unofficially state that it knows about schools that overcharge the candidates, and some headteachers misuse the registration fees.
In that, the UNEB executive secretary Dan Odongo said that schools are free to stipulate extra charges alongside the official UNEB fees but these fees must be agreed upon by management and school PTAS.
While appearing before the education committee of parliament, the minister of state for higher education Mr. John Chrystom Muyingo and UNEB executive secretary Dan Odongo introduced the Uganda National Examinations Board Bill 2020.
The Bill, which is meant to give the examination body more powers, proposes that a person should be penalized when caught in various examination crimes stipulated in the examination body act.
Once a headteacher or a teacher is convicted of exam malpractice, or found in possession of examination material or caught impersonating a student shall be fined between UGX 20 Million and UGX 40 Million
In case, one is found guilty but can’t pay the above amounts of money they will be sentenced to a jail term not exceeding 10 years, however in extreme cases, one may have to pay the fine and serve jail time.
The bill also creates an offense of misappropriation of examination registration fees and charging fees not prescribed by the examination board respectively.
The executive secretary Dan Odongo says that the current law lacks stringent penalties but says once this bill is passed into law, all these will be criminal