By John Baptist Ahumuza
Kampala: The Vice Chancellor of Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST), Prof. Celestino Obua, has been sworn in as the new Chairperson of the 11th Board of Directors for the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB), replacing the former Busitema University founding Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mary Okwakol.
The inauguration ceremony of the new board chairperson was officiated by the Minister of State for Higher Education, Hon. Dr. John Chrysestom Muyingo, at the board’s headquarters in Kyambogo.
In his address, the minister appreciated the outgoing board chairperson, Prof. Okwakol, for the transparent leadership that has seen UNEB thrive in times of difficulty.
He also called on the new chairperson to pick from the legacies of his predecessor and promised support from the Ministry of Education and Sports.
“This function is of great significance not only to UNEB but also to the entire country for the central role played by this board in the education sector and the development of the country. The smooth transition from one chairperson of this strong body to another is therefore an occasion of great importance. Therefore, I give thanks to the Almighty God, who has allowed this to happen. Prof. Okwakol has achieved a lot for UNEB and hence has to be appreciated,” Muyingo said.
He further promised the government’s commitment to enhancing the financing of the board, saying this will help in the promotion of Uganda’s education.
Muyingo also warned teachers and headteachers against denying students sitting for the on-going examinations but rather supporting them to complete their cycle.
“Headteachers and directors are hereby warned against blocking any candidate from sitting the final examinations. These should instead help them complete their academic cycle. Anyone who violates this directive will be arrested,” Muyingo warned.
The UNEB Executive Director, Mr. Dan N. Odongo, on the other hand, also applauded Prof. Okwakol for spearheading many development projects during her term of office as chairperson of the Board of Directors.
The outgoing Board Chairperson, Mary Okwakol, appreciated President Museveni for appointing her into this office and highlighted a number of achievements, such as the development of e-max, which has increased the speed of processing and assessing examinations; the development of e-services; the development of e-cash for transactions; the printing of personalized results; the digitization of results for PLE, USE, and UACE; the installation of CCTV cameras; the acquisition of high-speed scanners; and infrastructural development. She, however, recalled the budget cuts, which she says have been and are still the board’s major challenge.
Professor Celestino Obua, the newly sworn-in Board of Directors, applauded his predecessor and also promised to double his efforts towards the development of UNEB and the education sector as a whole.
Prof. Mary Okwakol became Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Uganda National Examinations Board in 2014, replacing Fagil Mandy.
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