After Uganda National Examination Board (Uneb) authorities announced that they want to raise registration costs, parents with children in candidate classes scheduled to write national exams this year would have to pay more than initially anticipated.
The hike is meant to compensate for the rising costs of administering exams brought on by the nation’s rising cost of living crisis.
According to sources in Parliament, Uneb has proposed to increase registration fees for Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) from Shs34,000 to Shs40,000; Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) from Shs164,000 to at least Shs190,000; and Uganda advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) from Shs186,000 to at least Shs230,000.
On Tuesday, the House Committee on Education gave Mr. Daniel Odongo, the executive director of the Uneb, a duty to explain why the examination organization is considering raising registration costs.
In an interview, Mr. Odongo acknowledged that the topics are being brought before the Uneb board . After the suggestion has been discussed with Education Minister Janet Museveni, he noted, a final decision would be made.
According to Mr. Odongo, the country’s registration fees have not increased in the past seven years.
“We are looking at ways of raising revenue and of course the national fees have been the same since 2016 yet the costs of examination materials have gone up in the industry,” Mr Odongo said in an interview.
Mr. Odongo added that other nations’ registration fees are extremely high in comparison to those enforced in Uganda.
He claims that the Zimbabwean government charges primary candidates $30 (Sh110,000), lower secondary candidates $90 (Sh330,000), and upper secondary candidates $120 (Shs440,000).
“If you see examination fees in other countries, you wonder whether we are charging anything,” Mr Odongo said, adding, “They are paying their examiners a higher amount of money.”
Mr. Odongo stated that the steps necessary to implement the proposed solution would be followed. He continued by saying that the public would be well informed of the choice.
The Ministry of Education refused to comment on the plan that, according to our sources, will be presented to Ms. Museveni. By the time of publication, Dr. Denis Mugimba, the ministry’s spokesperson, had not returned our calls.
The end of the year is often when candidates take their national exams.
On Tuesday, Mr. Odongo headed a group of Uneb representatives to defend their budget framework paper for 2023–2024.