Malawi National Examinations Board (Maneb) has threatened to take legal action against the recently established Independent Academic Examinations Council (NIAEC) for illegally using its logo and name on in its activities despite earlier on rebuffing its instances to work together.
Maneb has since discredited NIAEC as briefcase organization that has no mandate to administer national examinations in the country as stipulated by the laws.
According to letters which Nyasa Times has sourced, NIAEC has been pocketing money from government and private schools across the country claiming it has been authorized by the Ministry of Education and Maneb to issue certificates and administer the phased out Primary School Leaving Certificate and Junior Certificate examinations.
On contrary, Maneb is the only institution empowered by the Act of Parliament to administer national examinations and issue certificates on the same.
And on Thursday Maneb acting Executive Director, Jack Chalimba told news organisations during media briefing that his institution cannot partner NIAEC as it no proven record of administering examinations and that its composition is phony.
“Maneb noted with great concern the continued unauthorized use of Maneb logo, Maneb name and Maneb Act by the so-called New Independent Academic Examinations Council (NIAEC) which claims that it will start issuing Primary School Leaving Certificate of Education (PSLCE) and administering Junior Certificate of Education (JCE) examinations.
“NIAEC continues to display Maneb logo on its sample certificate despite the logo being copyrighted; cite Maneb Act as shown in the Laws of Malawi Cap 30:04 and its subsequent schedules despite the Act being Maneb specific; copy coding system of subjects and claim it is working with Maneb in its activities when in actual fact Maneb does not recognize the existence of NIAEC,” said Chalimba.
Chalimba has since given NIAEC 14 days to stop using its logo or its name as well as put to end its claims that it will administer national examinations despite being rebuffed by both the Ministry of Education and Maneb.
“With the foregoing, Maneb is demanding NIAEC to urgently remove any logo, words or wording that seems to link Maneb to dealings of NIAEC from any of their publications or utterances. Should this demand not be honored within 14 days, Maneb will have no option other than seeking legal redress on this matter.”
Maneb stopped issuing PSLCE certificates since 2015 but instead issues academic transcripts on request. It will also no longer administer JCE examination starting 2017 following reforms which have been implemented under the Public Service Reforms Programme.
Maneb Act of 1969 and amended in 1987, empowers MANEB to develop, administer and process national examinations in the country. Therefore NIAEC will need the approval of Parliament to take over the administration of JCE and PSLCE.
According Chalimba both the ministry and his institution have refused to work with NIAEC despite its attempt to continue administering the phased out examinations, arguing Maneb is not ready to work with an organization that has not proved to government that it has a workforce with requisite assessment competence to professionally and objectively assess learners.
NIAEC is owned by Phyles Kachingwe an education expert who is an employee of United General Insurance (UGI).
In one of the letters Nyasa Times has dated 25th April, 2016 (Ref: /NIAEC/02/2016) Kachingwe claims to have been authorized by government to worth with Maneb in administering JCE and PSLCE but government has dismissed the claims.
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