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Prof. Celestino Obua new UNEB Chair

Prof. Celestino Obua new UNEB Chair

Prof. Mary Okwakol hands over office to Prof. Celestino Obua (Courtesy photo)

Transition from old to new curriculum marks the dawn of a new era

In a significant development in the realm of education and examinations in Uganda, Prof. Celestino Obua, the Vice Chancellor of Mbarara University of Science and Technology, has been officially sworn in as the new Chairperson of the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB).

This change marks the end of Prof. Mary Okwakol’s tenure, who had served as the board Chairperson for the past five years.

The inauguration ceremony, held at the UNEB secretariat in Ntinda, was officiated by the Minister of State for Higher Education, Hon. Dr. John Crysestom Muyingo, who called upon Prof. Obua to oversee a smooth transition from the old secondary curriculum to the new abridged lower secondary curriculum set to be implemented next year.

As the handover took place, there was a sense of anticipation at the UNEB secretariat about the new leadership and the challenges it might bring. However, the news of Prof. Obua’s appointment was met with relief and enthusiasm as he was not a stranger to UNEB, having served as a member of the 9th and 10th Boards of UNEB.

Prof. Mary Okwakol’s leadership was celebrated for creating a “feel-good” atmosphere at the secretariat, which motivated the staff to perform at their best. Under her watch, UNEB experienced significant developments in various areas, including examinations management, governance, ICT services, infrastructure, staff welfare, logistics, and more. This period is described as the most transformative in the history of UNEB.

One of the key highlights of Prof. Okwakol’s management style was her commitment to the principles of good governance. Unlike some other institutions where Board Chairpersons become overly involved in day-to-day operations, Prof. Okwakol maintained a strong oversight role. Management was given the autonomy to execute resolutions and decisions, and her guidance was sought on critical matters, to which she responded promptly.

Even during the challenging times brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, Prof. Okwakol’s dedication was unwavering. The Board’s resolutions and actions continued without disruption, and infrastructure development projects, such as the acquisition of land for expansion near the Ntinda offices, progressed under her leadership.

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