The Malawi National Examinations Board (Maneb) has started conducting hearings on suspected malpractices committed during 2013 Malawi School of Certificate of Education (MSCE) examination.
Maneb, disqualified 392 candidates during 2013 MSCE examinations that saw 66,853 candidates out of 127,383 qualifying for the award of MSCE certificates, representing a 52 .48 percent pass rate.
According to the amended penalties in the MANEB Act, 2003, the minimum penalty of being involved in examination malpractices is a K50,000 fine and two years Imprisonment with Hard Labour; while the maximum penalty is K300,000 and 10 years Imprisonment with Hard Labour.
Maneb Public Relations Officer, Simeon Maganga disclosed in an email to Nyasa Times that the exercise, being held in camera, began on Monday January 6th up to Friday January 10th.
“The said malpractices were allegedly committed during the administration of the 2013 Malawi School of Certificate of Education (MSCE) examination. This resulted in MANEB withholding 2013 MSCE examination results of candidates suspected to have committed the said examination malpractices,” said Maganga.
He said the trials were one way of ensuring administration of natural justice, which stipulates that ‘every suspect should be given an opportunity to be heard first before exacting any decision on them’.
He then urged candidates affected by the withholding of the results and parents or guardian whose children or wards were affected by the action to make use of the exercise.
“MANEB has sent out three teams to the Northern, Central and Southern Regions to carry out the exercise. The hearings are being held in camera in schools where the affected candidates sat for the examinations and parents or guardians are free to witness the proceedings,” he said.
The 2013 examinations were marred with leakages as some candidates were arrested after being found with examination papers.
The Civil Society Education Coalition (Csec) described MSCE results as a shame, arguing that they were manipulated.
Csec executive director Benedicto Kondowe said the results are stuck around 50 percent pass rate each year, arguing that this demonstrates that there has been no progress in improving performance.
Currently, Maneb is conducting registrations for the 2014 national examinations up to January 31st.
Primary School Leaving Certificate of Education (PSLCE) examination will start on May 29th, 2014 while Junior Certificate of Education (JCE) examination will be administered from June 17th to June 27th, 2014, and MSCE examination will be administered from July 9th to August 1st, 2014.
However, Maneb says the administration of this year’s examinations after the May 20th Tripartite Elections has no bearing whatsoever on the examinations cycle, which runs from December of one year to November of another year.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :