Makerere Varsity withholds results over falsification

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Uganda’s Makerere University Chancellor Ezra Suruma (right).

Uganda’s pioneer Makerere University has withheld 14,895 transcripts for students who graduated in February until the institution completes cleaning up its results management after some staff infiltrated the system and falsified some marks.

The university Vice-Chancellor, Prof John Ssentamu Ddumba, Thursday asked the former students and the public to give them three to four weeks to investigate the matter and remove those who were illegally listed in the 67th graduation booklet.

“There is nothing the university can do. But students can give us three to four weeks to sort out the problem and we will start issuing transcripts again. We hadn’t started giving them out yet and I can’t give them when we know there is a problem,” Prof Ddumba said.

The university took the decision on March 9 after suspending four members of the Academic Registrar’s department on suspicion that they participated in altering students’ marks without permission from their bosses.

The suspects have since been arrested, with only one of them later released.

It was against that backdrop that the Academic Registrar, Mr Alfred Masikye Namoah, on March 20 wrote to the university staff, students and stakeholders indicating they had temporarily shut down the transcripts processing in order to clean up the mess.

“The Academic Registrar with the college registrars recalled and scrutinised the names of students on the 67th graduation list. During the verification, names of 58 students with altered marks were withdrawn. The university management discovered that there was alteration of marks,” Mr Namoah wrote almost a month after the February graduation ceremony.

It was not the first time that Makerere was withholding students’ transcripts after graduation. In 2015, a total of 13,776 students were affected as they waited for the university officials to verify their results.

Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, the deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Finance, said they regretted the inconvenience they had caused their clients, but appealed that the university be given an opportunity to clean up its system.

Prof Ddumba said the university had engaged its Senate IT team to clean up the system.

Read more: Africa Review

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