Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) says it has so far registered six live births by pregnant candidates in the ongoing Uganda Certificate of Education examinations (UCE) or S.4 candidates.
According to the UNEB Principal Communications Officer, Jennifer Kalule Musamba, five of the mothers have been able to continue with the examinations.
“One mother had a still birth but was able to come back and continue with the examinations. We hail them for exhibiting this strong and brave spirit,” she said.
She added that the board also registered a number of breast feeding mothers who either leave their babies at home or come to school with caretakers.
“For purposes of confidentiality, we will not disclose their identity now,” she said.
Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic that saw government close education institutions for close to a year, a number of pregnancy cases amongst school going students were recorded.
This forced the Ministry of Education and Sports to issuea a directive allowing pregnant learners to sit their final examinations this year regardless of whether they are pregnant or not.
Kalule however, cautioned all learners not to go off track of the school rules and get involved into sexual acts where she said the existing leeway to have them sit exams with their pregnancies may not continue after the COVID-19 era.
“UNEB does not condone teenage pregnancy. We therefore urge learners to concentrate on their studies before they can think of getting babies,” she said.
She however, said that the Board is yet to get the total number of pregnant candidates that have sat for the 2020 final UCE examinations.
“Reports indicate that a number of them have braved the odds and sat for the examinations,” said Kalule.
Meanwhile, as UCE exams take the week 3, Kalule said that there have so far been no major reported cases of examinations malpractice except for a few isolated incidences.
“We have however received reports of a few cases of examination malpractices related to smuggling of unauthorized materials into the examination rooms, especially for the practical examinations. Statements have been made with police and investigations are under way,” she said.
She further said the Board got information regarding a student in the West Nile that attempted to commit suicide after sitting for mathematics but was rescued.
“He has not been able to continue with the examination, and is hospitalised,” she said.
A total of 333,889 candidates started writing their UCE exams on March 1 and these will end on April 6.