Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Uneb computers crash with exam results

The Uganda National Examinations Board (Uneb) has been gripped by panic after several computers used to store and compute examination results suffered technical faults and are yet to be fixed.
This newspaper understands that the software used to operate the “old” computers “crashed” last week which could lead to postponing the release of examination results but officials have denied it.
The outgoing Uneb executive secretary, Mr Mathew Bukenya, in a telephone interview, said: “It’s a small technical fault that has been worked on.” He added: “There was a fault but did not mean complete collapse of the entire system as you imply.”
But an insider speaking on condition of anonymity said the cash strapped body is soliciting funds to fix the problem, notably procurement of new computer hardware and software, hire technicians, and to finish payments for the exam markers.
Mr Bukenya also said any decision to reschedule the exam release dates requires the input of the Uneb chairman, Mr Fagil Mandy, who was not immediately available for comment. “I don’t know who gave you that information but you may have to contact the Uneb chairman. All I can tell you is that there was slight fault which has been rectified.”
Exam results
Examination results for at least 582, 085 students who sat for Primary Leaving Exams are expected on January 15, and results for 295,494 Uganda Certificate of Education candidates are to be released later in the month.
It is, however, not yet clear how much data was lost after the technical fault and if it had been backed up somewhere else. Uneb spokesperson Hamis Kaheru said he was not aware of the multiple computer crash but announced yesterday they had deferred marking Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) exams due to shortage of funds.
UACE examiners were supposed to report on December 29, but Uneb sent them messages on their phones not to come but some teachers did not get them and they reported. They were refunded their money on Monday and asked to return home until further notice.