UNEB bill proposes 10-year jail term, Shs. 40 million fine for exam malpractice
Government has tabled the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB), 2020 amendment bill that seeks to address gaps in the current act.
According to URN, the Primary Education State Minister, Rosemary Seninde tabled the bill in parliament on Tuesday.
The bill proposes tough penalties for anyone found guilty of exam malpractice. It provides that a person who before or during an examination has in his or her possession any examination paper or material commits an offense and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding 2,000 current points approximately Shillings 40 million or a term of imprisonment not exceeding 10 years or both.
The same penalty will apply to misappropriation of examination registration fees and a person who assists or causes a candidate to obtain an examination paper or material. Where the convicted person is a registered teacher, he or she shall be disciplined with relevant laws of the teaching profession.
Loss or misuse of examination paper, material or information and damaging or destruction of the same by those having possession is also an offense and on conviction. They will be liable to a fine of 1000 currency points approximately Shillings 20 million or imprisonment not exceeding 10 years. This same penalty is proposed for impersonation.
The Bill seeks to repeal and replace the Uganda National Examinations Board Act. Cap 137, which was enacted in 1983 and create reforms relating to the administration and management of primary and secondary national examinations and any other examinations the Board may consider necessary.
According to experts, the other defects in the current law identified by government are that penalties in the current Act are weak and therefore need enhancement to make them more meaningful and deterrent to match the objectives of the regulatory framework.
The bill also seeks to widen the functions and powers of the Board and make them consistent with other laws, expand offenses and enhance penalties to deter examination malpractice.
“Since 1983, Uganda’s education system has undergone a number of reforms ranging from legal, institutional and policy framework coupled with the socio- economic changes which have affected the operations of the Examinations Board and implementation of the Act. In addition, since the enactment of the Uganda National Examinations Board Act. Cap 137 in 1983 there are new emerging issues due to the changing educational and technological revolution that require review and additional provisions to address them,” reads part of the Bill.