The Ministry of Education and Sports has reportedly proposed that final national examinations — PLE, UCE and UACE — be held in the October-December 2022 period.
This has been the normal period for national examinations, beginning with O-level exams, the Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE).
Normally, Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) and the Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE), administered by the Uganda National Examinations Board (Uneb) would follow.
According to government newspaper The New Vision, a source from the education ministry has confirmed that a normal school calendar, which includes a normal examinations calendar, was proposed.
This is sharply different from an earlier proposal to have current P6, S3 and S5 candidates sit national examinations in May 2022.
“We proposed the normal school calendar which includes the normal examinations calendar. We are proposing October for the exams to start. If you may recall, this is the exact month when the examinations start,” a source has been quoted as telling the government newspaper.
The proposals, which are said to have been brought forward during a November 30 meeting, are reportedly hinged on another shift in reopening — from a phased to full reopening of all schools and learners at all levels.
This publication could not independently verify the claims by the unnamed source but Pearl Times News understands that Education Minister Janet Museveni is expected to unveil a full school reopening plan and a revised calendar in coming days.
As the norm, one of the sources said, it will then be followed by the Primary Leaving Examinations and the Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) in that order.
Earlier, the ministry had proposed May 2022 for commencement of the examinations calendar administered by the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB).
“We proposed the normal school calendar which includes the normal examinations calendar,” a source said.
“We are proposing October for the exams to start. If you may recall, this is the exact month when the examinations start,” the source added.
Another source explained that the would-be candidates, currently Primary Six, Senior Three and Senior Five, will study a normal full academic year with the rest of the students.
Under normal school calendar, a school term covers about 86 days, and learners have approximately a one-month holiday after term one, a month-and-a-half holiday for term two and break off in November after term three.
According to the sources, this is due to the fact that the ministry is likely to adopt full reopening of all academic institutions, as opposed to a phased reopening which had been proposed.
The phased reopening plan had been proposed to manage the multiple cohorts of classes as well as ensure that COVID-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) are observed in schools.
The sources indicate that the ministry has also adopted normal school terms of 86 days, but with special consideration for current semi-candidates, who will eventually become candidates.