The police have lowered the entry qualification for Police Constables.
In the past, the qualification was strictly Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE), however, this year’s recruitment will see even those holding a Uganda Advanced Certificate (UCE) or its equivalent join the Uganda Police Force (UPF).
The police just like Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF), recruited people basing on their moral record, physical and health ability.
However, after the Justice Julia Sebutinde investigation of Police in 1998 and 2000 recommendations, qualification for Police Constables was increased from S4 to S6 certificate.
The argument was that a S6 graduate is able to read and interpret the law.
All Police Constables recruited from 2000 up to 2015 had a UACE or its equivalent on top of their physical and health ability.
However, the forthcoming recruitment of 4,500 Constables and 500 Assistant Inspectors of Police (AIPs), the qualifications have been relaxed to S4 certificate and a Diploma respectively.
Deputy Police Spokesperson, Polly Namaye, says even those who possess documents that are equivalent to UCE but certified or proven by Uganda National Examination Board (Uneb) will also be admitted into the police force.
A junior Police trainee is referred to as a Probation Police Constable (PPC) until he or she is assessed and confirmed as a Constable in six months’ period after being passed out.
Namaye explains that Police have lowered this year’s Constable Qualification because there are many youths possessing such certificates but have been rendered useless as they cannot be used to acquire jobs.
In addition, Namaye says police have also realized that Constables recruited at S4 can also do a good job just like their S6 counterparts or even better. There are also reports that government has ordered police to lower Constable requirements to S4 certificate because of the rampant unemployment rate that has seen several youths engage in criminality.
Crime reports indicate more than 75 percent of suspects arrested over crimes such as thefts, burglary, robberies and murders are aged between 18 to 35 years. Most of these suspects were able to write statements very well in English and their mother tongue because of certain level of education they possess which is S4 or S6.
Thus lowering Constable qualification is believed it would reduce crime rate as idle youths are able to acquire jobs. Several youth were turned down during the recent Local Defence Unit (LDUs) for possessing S4 and S6 certificate yet they needed people with PLE certificates.
AIPs are required to have a Diploma in academic fields among others Medicine, Civil Engineering, Information, Communication Technology (ICT) and Electrical Engineering.
Constables must have five credits including English and Math. Both Constables and AIPs will undergo 12-month training.