To help students grasp the various modalities of assessment, the Makerere University Council has extended test dates. Exams scheduled to begin on September 6 have been postponed until September 13.
Individual college academic committee boards were permitted to decide how to conduct end-of-semester examinations two weeks ago by the Makerere University Senate. The colleges can use a variety of evaluation methods, such as take-home assignments, field assessments, and presentations, among others.
Professor Umar Kakumba, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academics, stated in a letter to the College academic committees dated August 27 that the examination dates had been extended to allow for further preparation of students on selected assessment models.
“The examination evaluation time has been extended from September 13 to September 30, 2021, as requested, to provide for more preparation and sensitization of students. Please plan ahead of time.”
Students expressed dissatisfaction with the university’s online platform, MUELE, as well as data charges and a lack of computers to facilitate online exams. They tasked the University Council to address difficulties with the online platform before the assessment through Guild President Ivan Ssempijja.
In a meeting with the University Council, Ssempijja urged that the scheduled dates be changed to allow enough time for students to be educated on the various modes of assessment.
The university provided training for teachers on Open Distance and Electronic Learning as well as online student assessment as part of the test preparation. For the training, a group of students from several colleges was chosen.
Continuing students, unlike finalists at the University, were required to begin their physical end-of-semester exams on the same day that the government imposed the 42-day lockdown. Since then, on June 7th, 2021, all schools and higher education institutions have been shuttered.
According to an online survey conducted by the University Guild, 50% of students prefer physical exams. Only 13% of the 3,884 respondents preferred online exams, while 37% preferred take-home tests.
Some of the key problems highlighted by those opposed to online tests were a lack of smartphones and computers, the high cost of data, and inadequate internet access.