The Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) is facing a backlash for using the soldiers, instead of Police to guard Uganda Certificate of Education exams.
The move by UNEB to use members of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces to guard the ongoing Senior Four exams follows repetitive examination multi-practices which is usually aided by the Police, teachers and at times UNEB scouts.
According to UNEB, the military was brought in to help in maximising security right from the stores, while in transit to their respective centres to avoid tempering with them while on their way.
But several parents, guardians, students and members of the public spoken to around Kampala have called this move a ‘misuse of the national army’. Instead, they call on the army to ensure the security of the country and leave such work to Police.
Muzamir Kayongo, whose daughter is among the Senior Four candidates seating their exams this year said it was very absurd to use the military to guard mere examinations.
“So where does this leave the Uganda Police Force? Why is it that wherever they think there is a problem army comes in? Our children are doing their final exams while seeing UPDF soldiers with guns at their doors and this is unacceptable. If we adults fear that combat how about children. May be there is something else they are not telling us,” Kayongo told Watchdog Uganda.
Hajat Faridah Nsubuga, a motor car spares dealer in Kiseka market said that since Uganda’s security is also not good why wouldn’t the army concentrate on that instead of guarding students doing their exams.
“This is very disgraceful. Does this mean that nothing can be done without involving the army? I can now believe we are under military governance,” she said.
An official from the Ministry of Education who preferred anonymity asked UNEB to first clean it’s system because the whole problem starts from them.
“Where do schools get UNEB papers? They get them from UNEB officials who sell them to schools or sometimes to the students. So deploying the army at schools will not solve this vice but rather degrade our respected army as if we are at wars that any time we expect an ambush,” said the official.
However, UNEB insists that involvement of the military was to ensure that examination papers are not tempered with before official opening.
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