The effect of management of academic affairs on the examination process in Makerere University
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This report presents study findings on the effect of management of academic affairs on examination process in Makerere University. The study aim was to establish the effect of management of academic affairs on examination process in Makerere University in light of the current situation of increased student numbers visa-vis resources. The major objectives of the study were to: establish the effects of the planning of academic affairs on the setting and moderating of examination questions in Makerere University; establish the effects of the organization of academic affairs on conducting the examinations in Makerere University; establish the effects of control of academic affairs on the process of marking of examinations in Makerere University; and to establish the effects of coordinating academic affairs on the release of examination results in Makerere University. The study adopted a cross-sectional sample survey design in which both qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection were applied. The study was carried out in four faculties which included: Arts, Agriculture, Technology and School of Education. Probability and non-probability sampling techniques were applied and a total of 240 respondents were targeted. The study found that the legal framework as enshrined in the Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act, 2003 (UOTIA) as amended empowers the senate and created the office of deputy vice- chancellor academic affairs. Although with due mandates, these centres of power, according to the study are faced with management challenges which have greatly affected the examination process in Makerere University. At Makerere University, there are problems in the examination areas of planning, setting, moderation, conducting, coordinating and release of results. These are evidenced by congestion in examination rooms, poor invigilation, delayed marking, delayed release of results and examination malpractices as the study findings reveal. Surprisingly the University management is aware of these problems but it appears to be lacking the will and resources to cause a positive change. The study concluded that: planning of academic affairs affects the setting and moderation of examination questions in Makerere University; that the University has got poor planning mechanism that encourages inadequate moderation and setting of examination questions. This may result into stakeholders’ loss of confidence and credibility in the entire Makerere University examination process. The examination rooms are also not well planned to handle candidates to sit for the examinations; the management function of organizing of academic affairs affects the conduct of the examinations in Makerere University in different ways. Controlling of academic affairs in Makerere University is not well done and this has negatively affected the examination process; poor coordinating of academic affairs affects negatively the release of examination results and the coordination role although is decentralized to the faculties, some of the faculty heads have failed to deliver expected results. It also emerged that obligations were decentralized without funds to facilitate the examination process. The study therefore recommends that the planning function should mainly look on the areas of time-frame and examiners’ input to be in position to meet the students’ expectations such as lecturers teaching all the course units in time, setting examinations on areas that have been covered in class to give students a chance to sit for fair and genuine examinations. Since organizing is very critical in ensuring a conducive environment for conducting of examinations, Makerere University should do more to bring resources especially invigilators, seats, tables and adequate rooms for examinations. Makerere University must revise her policies regarding the examination processes of marking. The offices of Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs and the Academic Registrar should effectively coordinate the examination process. This should be done by having clear deadlines, clear policies, clear monitoring strategies and clear sanctions to those who do not comply with the laid down policies on examinations process in Makerere University.