The blame game on missing marks, who is responsible?

By Augustine Arinabo

There is drama in the department of journalism and communication regarding the issue of missing marks as the people responsible are not giving articulate answers and solutions to this problem.

Students, most of them in their final year of Journalism and Communication have lodged complaints regarding their missing marks but it seems this landed in deaf ears.

Mr. Joesph Okurut The Examinations Coordinator at the Department of Journalism and Communication
Mr. Joesph Okurut
The Examinations Coordinator at the Department of Journalism and Communication

In an exclusive interview conducted yesterday afternoon from his office, Mr. Joseph Okurut, the examinations coordinator at the Department of Journalism and Communication, the issue of missing marks takes different forms; “Some complain that they sat for exams but cannot see their marks, others claim that the marks have never been displayed online while others claim to have missing course works and test”, he explains.

Whereas, many claim that the problem of missing marks is widespread and often exaggerated, Dr. Umaru Bagampadde, the dean of the School of Engineering at the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology, says that such cases are minimal. “For our college, we have fewer cases of missing marks. The most disturbing cases that we have are students complaining that the marks they have (scored) do not meet their expectations,” he explains. Students blame lecturers while lecturers blame students for missing marks. “It’s the lecturers who lose students’ marks. Its neither the student nor data entrants at the examinations office,” says Bernard Okot , a fourth year student of Journalism and Communication. Mr. Okurut disagrees with Okot and is careful not to blame either party. He advises students who have missing marks to go trace them from examination coordinators. “I can not blame one factor or one person. There are so many factors, sometimes combined to create missing marks,” he says. “Students should go to the examination coordinators who will then look through the system and see where the problem is, either the marks have not been delivered to the unit (in case of electives outside departments) or there was a human error somewhere,” he advises.

The issue of missing marks is one of those that have left question marks on the academic image of Makerere University.  Last year students stormed the administration block in protest of missing marks and other related issues and demanded an explanation as to why the problem is persistent in Makerere University (pic of protesters).

Makerere students protest over missing marks last year
Makerere students protest over missing marks last year

What is most irking, however, is the fact that most finalists are likely to miss out on graduation come January 2016 hence frustrating their four solid years.

According to Gerald Walurya,a Lecturer in the Department of Journalism and Communication,  the problem of missing marks cannot be singularly solved. There has to be cooperation from the respective units. Mr. Gerald explains that although they collect results, they are not responsible for updating their online testimonials. “This is done by the office of the academic register who has a representative in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences who sits in room 2”,he says.

However, all the people responsible in the department tend to shun the question of missing marks leaving students in horns of dilemma. This is why most of the students in the final year of Journalism and Communication have dubbed the last year as a forced year rather than fourth year.

students graduating last year. this year many students in the department may miss out  if the issue of missing marks is not addressed
students graduating last year. this year many students in the department may miss out if the issue of missing marks is not addressed

Students decry missing marks 

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PRE-ENTRY EXAMS; POOR PERFORMANCE REGISTERED

By Augustine A.

Students who sat for the Makerere University law pre-entry examinations should look for other courses to apply for as most of them didn’t get the required pass mark,  50%.

Out of the 12,254 candidates who sat for the exams,  only 468 got the pass mark. The remaining 11,786 failed to reach the pass mark.

law2

Gayaza High School and St. Mary’s College Kisubi had the best candidates.

Candidates who applied for government sponsorship in November and passed the examinations will be considered depending on one’s performance and slots available. The others who got the pass mark and didn’t apply or won’t be allocated a government slot can apply for private sponsorship.

students preparing for the exams
students preparing for the exams

The examinations were in four categories,  A Level leavers,  Diploma holders,  Mature Entry and Degree holders.

Aheebwa Marjiri Samantha from Gayaza High School was the overall best candidate with 78%. The other best A level candidates were:

  • Okoth Victor,  St. Mary’s College Kisubi,  71%
  • Lamwaka Patricia, Gayaza High, 70%
  • Okutu Patience Spinoza,  St. Mary’s College Kisubi,  70%

Out of the 2082 A Level candidates,  397 passed the exams.

Kato Lynn Peter from LDC led the Diploma holders with 65%.  Kyangwa Jeremiah,  Kyambogo Universityscored 61%

Out of the 63 students,  only 13 passed the exam.

studnets cross checking their names at the Faculty of LAW, Makerere University
studnets cross checking their names at the Faculty of LAW, Makerere University

Under the mature age entry,  Kabuuka Michael and Mwase Allan led,  72 and 71% respectively.

15 of the 34 students passed the exams.

The degree category had the best candidates from Makerere University. Aryee Edgar and Mukasa Siraje all scored 69%

43 of the 75 candidates passed the exam.

MP wants Makerere convocation nullified

MP wants Makerere convocation nullified

By Augustine A.

MUK2Western Uganda Youth Member of Parliament Gerald Karuhanga has asked court to nullify the newly elected Makerere University convocation executive saying the whole electoral process was a sham.

Karuhanga wants court to declare that the election of the MUK convocation executive consisting of 12 people was illegal and therefore null and void.

He is also seeking court orders quashing the Makerere convocation election results that were issued by the academic registrar who also doubles as the returning officer, Alfred Masikye Namoah, on March 30, 2015.

Among other things, he accuses Namoah of withholding the convocation election guidelines until March 28, when it was too late to for it to be of benefit.

Karuhanga claims that Namoah also withheld the electoral roll thus denying them the chance to scrutinize and clean up the voters’ register.

KARUHANGA1
Gerald Karuhanga who contested and lost Makerere University convocation chairmanship poistion

He filed the suit with six other alumni of the university. They include: Chris Niwandinda, Anna Adeke Ebaju, Alex Luganda, Julius Mutabazi, Joshua Rukundo and Gideon Aturinda against Makerere University and Dr. Tanga Odoi.

Other respondents are: Diana Nyago, Deus Kamunyu, Justus Nuwajjuna, Bazilio Kamya, Faith Kirungi, Margaret Najjuka, Juliet Nakalema, Denis Namara, Racheal Olando and Spencer Sabiiti.

Both the applicants and the respondents participated and contested in the 2015/2019 elections of the Makerere University convocation held at the University in March. The respondents were declared winners against the applicants.

Makerere convocation is an association of graduates and staff of MUK created by section 70 (1) of the Universities and other Tertiary Institutions Act 2001 and regulated by the Convocation constitution.

The applicants contend that the Namoah abruptly and unjustifiably cancelled the 23rd general meeting of the convocation and changed the elections venue from the freedom square to the main building which could not cater for the over 20,000 voters.

“He without reasonable excuse failed to convene a meeting of candidates and their agents prior to the elections to agree on the modalities for conducting the convocation elections,” Niwandinda alleged in his affidavit.

The applicants allege that Namoah released a list of ghost names as graduates and university staff without specified particulars like course, name and registration number.

KARUHANGA2
Gerald Karuhanga speaking at the Convocation

“When he realized this anomaly, he made a public declaration that those, whose names are not in the register, should check on his laptop and flash diskette,” Karuhanga said.

The academic registrar and Prof. Jacob Agea who was the presiding officer, are accused of disrupting the electoral process with the latter running away with the voters’ register and ballot papers during the course of elections.

According to the affidavit sworn by Karuhanga, these actions disrupted the whole electoral process and when he asked Namoah to find an urgent solution, he (Namoah) instead called in police to chase away the stranded voters.

Through their lawyers from  center for legal Aid, they allege that Namoah defied the convocation constitution by arbitrarily denying candidates chance to address voters and canvass for votes at the AGM, the requisite electoral roll and the opportunity for voters who turned up to vote in a free and fair elections.

Karuhanga, who referred to the whole process as a sham, is now asking court to set aside the election results of the convocation, and order the academic registrar to organize fresh elections in conformity with the convocation constitution.

The applicants also want an order directing Namoah to prepare and publish a valid elections guideline for the convocation at least 30 days before elections.

They also want an injunction restraining Makerere and its convocation from using the inflated and sham voters’ register during elections.

Makerere University is yet to file their defence. Meanwhile, the case has been set for hearing on April 27, 2015.