Several senior four candidates at various schools in Kitgum Municipality were locked out of the Uganda Certificate of Education-UCE examination this morning over failure to clear school fees.
Senior candidates across the country kicked off their UCE exams around 9:00 Am with the physics practical paper.
However, by 9:35 Am, many candidates at various schools visited by Mega Fm within Kitgum Municipality had been denied access to sit UCE exams.
Most of the students who were accompanied by their parents were seen camped around the offices of the headteachers pleading to be cleared to sit the exams.
At Kitgum Town College in Central Division, more than 10 students were at the Office of the Headteacher negotiating to be allowed to sit the UCE exams.
The situation was similar at Msgr. Antonio Vignato Mixed Secondary School also in Central Division. The school Head Teacher, Fr. Thomas Okello said some parents couldn’t afford to clear the full school fees and opted for last-minute negotiations to allow their children sit for UCE exams.
A total of 1,870 students comprising 974 males and 896 females registered for UCE in Kitgum Municipality.
Despite registering examinations glitches elsewhere, the exams started well in schools visited by Mega Fm in Gulu, Lamwo, Nwoya and Amuru districts.
The schools include Sacred Secondary school, Bishop Angelo Negri college in Gulu city and Keyo Secondary school and St Mary’s College Lacor in Amuru district. At Keyo Secondary school, out of the 61 registered candidates, only 60 turned up.
John Kennedy Zokies, the school Deputy Head teacher in charge of academics said the exams started on time at 9:00 am.
At St Mary’s College Lacor, one girl did not appear for the exams out of the 140 registered candidates.
Four candidates from Nwoya district also did not appear for the exams for unknown reasons.
They include two from Pope Paul VI Anaka, 1 from Alero SS and one from Agung community Seeds SS. Exams also started 10 minutes late at Alero SS exam center.
5 candidates in Lamwo district also failed to show up on the first day of the exams. Bernard Okumu, the Padibe Girls Comprehensive College head teacher says out of the 89 registered candidate 2 did not turn up for the exams saying one withdraw over health issue while the whereabouts of the other one is not known.
At Madi Opei center which comprises two schools including St. Marys’ College Madi Opei and Agoro seed Secondary school, one out of 87 registered candidates did not turn up, according to Julius Nyerere, the school head-teacher.
In Kampala, there was panic at Gayaza Road secondary school this morning when school administrators ordered some candidates to shave hair before sitting their Uganda Certificate of Education-UCE exams.
Several candidates pleaded with the teachers to allow them to sit the examination and shave the hair layer in the evening.
10 candidates from the same school who had not cleared school fees were also told to write commitment letters indicating that they bring the balance of the fees on the second day of the examination without fail.
Fort Portal Tourism City, private Secondary Schools were struggling to conduct practical exams due to financial constraints. Senior candidates kicked off their Uganda Certificate of Education – UCE exams with their physics practical paper this morning.
However, some of the private schools in Fort Portal say that due to the closure of schools resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, they are no longer able to meet all their financial obligations since they were solely relying on fees paid by students.
At Fort Portal Senior Secondary School, the Headteacher, Regan Kateregga, says that even though they have managed to reopen for the semi-candidate classes, they are struggling to raise funds to buy laboratory equipment and chemicals that are urgently needed by the candidates.