Printing and Publications

Background

NECTA had no printing unit of its own when it started providing the services of administration and management of examinations in 1973. It utilized hired printing services from the Dar es Salaam University Press (DUP) to print the examinations between 1973 and 1983.

In the meantime NECTA embarked on a project of constructing and equipping its own printing unit, which was completed in 1983. Since then NECTA has been printing her examinations in-house with the exception of the period between 1999-2002.

During this period NECTA's examinations were wholly or partially printed externally because of the massive leakage of the 1998 Certificate of Secondary Education Examination (CSEE).

Functions of printing and publications

The major functions of Printing and Publications Department are:

  • To print examinations offered by the Council and other institutions.
  • To print and bind all answer booklets used by candidates.
  • To print various forms used by the Council in its assessment processes.
  • To print a variety of many other forms which are not used for purposes of examinations.
  • To print books and many other publications of the Council.

Sections in the department of printing and publications

In order to perform effectively the aforesaid functions, the department is divided into two sections: Printing and Finishing and Packaging. The functions of each section are as listed below:

(a)Printing:- this includes subsections which are:

  • Prepress - This deals with electronic pagination imposition and plate making
  • Press - This is where printing of examinations and various documents take place

Finishing

  • Trimming of papers/documents
  • Folding
  • Stitching /Gluing

Centring (Packaging)

  • Verification of the packaging list.
  • Labeling of security envelopes.
  • Packing of question paper envelopes in the boxes ready for dispatch to Regional Headquarters.
  • Labeling of the boxes containing question paper envelopes.
  • Dispatch of the examination boxes to the Regional Headquarters.

Printing personnel

When the Printing Unit started in 1983 NECTA had to tackle the problem of capacity building. The Printing personnel then consisted of three experts recruited from DUP. Slowly the personnel was beefed up by training some NECTA staff through on the job training. With time, some operators were sent to Dar es Salaam University Press (DUP), Printpak, Vocational Education Training Colleges in Tanga and Dar es Salaam for training. The unit now boasts of trained personnel who can manage the machines with confidence.

Security in the printing unit

The unit deals with printing of confidential documents and because of that security in the unit is given special consideration. The measures taken to maintain security in the unit during printing include:

  • The grilled door to the unit, which is always closed. Anybody who wants to get into the unit must ring the bell installed at the entrance. The person in charge of security will come to open the door for him/her.
  • Unauthorized persons are not allowed into the unit.
  • All persons working in the unit (including non-printing personnel) are thoroughly checked by the persons in charge of security before they leave the unit.
  • No printing personnel is allowed to leave the unit in overcoat or overall. They put on their usual clothes when they go out for tea, lunch or anywhere outside the unit.
  • Frequent movement out of the unit is not allowed unless there is a special reason.
  • All the personnel leave the unit when it is time for tea or lunch.
  • No one is allowed to take anything outside the unit unless permitted by the Head of the Department.
  • It is strictly forbidden to take a question paper outside the unit.
  • Printed papers are covered all the time to prevent the papers being read by unauthorized persons.
  • All unpacked printed papers are kept in the strong room
  • No cellular phones are allowed in the printing unit during examination printing.
  • Apart from the listed security measures above, closed circuit television (CCTV) has been installed in the unit to help in monitoring the movement of the personnel.