Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST) has released results of the 2017 Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) which show a 61 percent pass rate.
In a statement announcing the results, MoEST said out of 136 247 candidates who sat for the MSCE examination in at least six subjects, including English, 84 009 qualified for the award of secondary school leaving certificate, representing a 61.66 percent pass rate.
Education activist and analyst Limbani Nsapato has hailed the results, saying they signify progress and improved performance in the sector.
He described the results as the best compared to 58 percent of last year and the highest since 1994.
Last year, out of 139 606 who sat for the exam, 81 415 candidates qualified for the award of MSCE representing a 58.32 pass rate, the highest in over 20 years.
In 2015, Malawi National Examinations Board (Maneb) registered a 55.24 percent pass rate in the MSCE exam. Out of 136 296 candidates who sat for the 2015 MSCE examinations in at least six subjects including English, 75 296 passed. The figure represented a 0.4 percentage point increase on the 54.8 pass rate in 2014 when 71 486 qualified for the award of the MSCE certificate out of 130 293 candidates who sat for the exams.
According to the statement signed by MoEST Principal Secretary Ken Ndala, out of the 62 441 female candidates who sat for the examination in at least six subjects, including English, 34 837 have qualified for the award of the MSCE representing a 55.79 percent pass rate.
And out of 73 806 male candidates, 49 172 have qualified for the award of MSCE representing a 66.62 percent pass rate.
The statement also said there were 415 special needs education candidates who sat for the exam and 227 candidates have passed representing a 54.70 percent pass rate. In this category, 214 candidates were females and 107 have passed representing a 50 percent pass rate while 207 were males and 120 have passed representing a 59.70 percent pass rate.
Nsapato said the inclusion of special needs is particularly crucial, especially given the importance of improvements in the sector in ensuring equity in quality education.
“Nevertheless, more needs to be done because we still have more than one third who have failed. Investment in teachers and the learning environment should be enhanced for much better results,” he said.
According to MoEST, 1 979 candidates have their results withheld pending investigations.
The ministry further advised all candidates that their results are available in all education division offices, district education offices and in all public and grant aided secondary schools.