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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