The hearing of a bail application for the three teachers accused of examination malpractice flopped Monday following the absence of the trial magistrate.
The trio including Mr. Robert Kintu Mubiru of Bright Grammar Primary School, Masaka, Mr. Wenecelaus Twongereirwe, a teacher at Uganda Martyrs Primary School Katwe-Masaka, and Mr. Vincent Atukwase of Mbarara Junior School come to court for their bail application, but the trial magistrate who is the Masaka Chief Magistrate Sylvia Nvanungi was indisposed which prompted magistrate James Bwambale to remand them further till next year.
Records before the court indicate that the trio, who had been deployed as scouts at Sumayyah Day and Boarding Primary School in Masaka City engaged in examination malpractices on November 9, 2022.
The prosecution alleges that the trio and others still at large aided and abetted examination malpractice during Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) when they took pictures of the Science paper and circulated it on social media.
Court also heard that teachers are custodians of the education system and when they engage in examination malpractice it affects the credibility of education certificates issued in the country.
Ms. Annet Kemale, the Uganda Examinations Board (Uneb) senior legal officer told journalists shortly after the court session that they were ready to proceed with the case though the trial magistrate was indisposed, adding that Uneb is committed to fighting examination malpractices in the country by using all legal means at their disposal.
“The trial magistrate that was supposed to handle the bail application was not available and in such a situation, nothing much can happen other than being remanded further,” she said.
Mr. Bwambale remanded the trio to Masaka Central Prison, further adjourning the matter to January 9, 2023, when they are expected to reappear in court for the hearing of their bail application.
Subsection 25 (2) of the Uneb Act, 2021 criminalizes willful or negligent assistance or causing any candidate to obtain examination papers. If convicted, the perpetrator is liable to a fine not exceeding 2,000 currency points (Shs40m) or an imprisonment term not exceeding 10 years or both.
Similarly, the penalty for cheating exams was also raised from Shs50,000 or two years in prison upon conviction to a maximum fine of Shs10m or five years in jail or both, depending on the gravity of the crime committed.