Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Pupil sits exam while in labour

A 14-year-old girl in Kasese District endured two days of due labour to sit this year’s Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE), which were characterised by many interesting tit bits, including very old candidates. The oldest candidates were a 56-year-old grandmother in northern Uganda and a 37-year-old pastor in Kabarole District.
The 14-year-old expectant mother (names withheld) struggled with labour pains on the first day and the school hired for her a midwife to be by her side in a private room at Nyakasanga Primary Healthcare clinic, about a kilometre from her school.
“I decided to come and sit the exams because I thought I could, despite being pregnant. I am sure to complete this paper before giving birth to my first child,” she said.
Ministry of Education regulations permit girls to continue with their education even when they are pregnant.
“At the end of the first exam (mathematics), the supervisors told us that the girl’s condition changed and that she had pain. We rushed her to hospital where she was kept until the time to sit the afternoon exam. She told us she was ready to continue,” said Mr Joshua Munzomba, the headteacher.
When she did not deliver, the District Education Officer, Mr George Mainja, intervened by allowing the girl to sit the exams in a special care room under the guard of a police woman. A midwife attending to her, Ms Doloroza Muhindo, told the Daily Monitor that the girl was still experiencing the first stages of labour.
Meanwhile, there was a short interruption at Kitengeesa Church of Uganda Primary School PLE centre in Buwunga Sub-county after 17 candidates from Nakiyaga Model Primary School began shaking their heads and shouting at the top of their voices shortly after they started their papers. The school sits its pupils at Kitengeesa because it doesn’t have a centre number.
A pastor was called in to conduct prayers and the pupils stopped the shouting and resumed writing their papers. The headteacher of the school, Mr Abdu Mubiru, said the symptoms started manifesting among the pupils several weeks ago but their cause is not clearly understood.
After the incident some pupils were taken in a police ambulance to Masaka Regional Referral Hospital for medical examination but the doctors said preliminary check-ups did not reveal any sickness. The cause of their problem continues to be a mystery.
Denis Wokorach, a P7 pupil at Panyimur Primary School in Nebbi District, endured a heart condition to sit through the two days of examinations.
He sat on a mattress while being attended to by his grandmother in the examination room. Wokorach looked pale. He occasionally feels dizzy, has to rest and resume answering questions later.
His father had earlier stopped him from doing his PLE exams because of his sickness but Wokorach insisted that he would do them as long as he could hold a pen.
Police in Kasanda Sub-county, Mubende District, yesterday arrested Namabaale Umea Primary School deputy head teacher for alleged involvement in Primary Leaving Examinations malpractice.
According to the Officer in charge of Kasanda Police Station, Ms Patience Baganzi, they have arrested the deputy head teacher and the impersonator and are helping police in investigations. Also summoned by police is the head mistress.
The suspect had been asked by the head teacher to sit for another pupil who left school due to pregnancy. However, the invigilators identified the anomalies in the passport photos when they realised that the candidate who was sitting for the paper did not correspond with the one on the Uneb album.
Police also arrested the director Holy Generation Nursery and Primary School for allegedly embezzling his pupils’ registration fees. Thirteen candidates could not appear for PLE after they found out that the school had not registered them with the examinations board.
The director (name withheld) allegedly collected Shs110,000 from each pupil as registration fees for Uneb and pocketed it, instead of remitting the money to the examination body.