Deputy Minister of Education Madalitso Kambauwa Wirima has said the 2021 Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) examinations are one of the best ever administered in the country.
The deputy minister was speaking on Thursday after inspecting the last day of the exams at Chinsapo Secondary School in Lilongwe.
She said apart from stormy rains and a candidate smuggling a smartphone into an examination room, the exercise had no challenges.
Said Wirima: “For the Cobe Barracks case, we don’t know how the candidate managed to beat all screening stages. For exams that were interrupted by stormy rains at Ching’ombe and Chadza community day secondary schools in Lilongwe, we readministered a deferred exam on 11 November 2021.”
However, she bemoaned the high rate of absenteeism of candidates.
Wirima commended Malawi National Examinations Board (Maneb), security agents and invigilators for ensuring there was no leakage.
However, Civil Society Education Coalition executive director Benedicto Kondowe, while admitting that there was discipline in this year’s MSCE, bemoaned security lapses such as police officers being found drunk on duty.
Maneb chief executive officer Professor Dorothy Nampota said she expects the marking of the examinations to be the best since the grievances of markers that keep coming every year have been addressed.
She said: “The usual complaints were lodging, food and marking allowances. Now we have increased the marking allowance by 20 percent for all exams, we have secured good accommodation and food.”
A total of 128 969 candidates sat this year’s examinations, down from 138 310 in 2020 whose results were described as one of the poorest ever.
The exam were administered from October 26 to November 11 2021.