Thousands of students who sat for the 2017 Malawi Schools Certificate of Education (MSCE) form 250 Secondary Schools risk having their results not released after it has been discovered that their schools defrauded them of examination fees by not remitting it to the Malawi National Examination Board (Maneb) which manages the local examinations.
It has been established that the fraudulent activities involve both government and private secondary schools with Maneb disclosing that a total of K81 million paid by the concerned students did not reach Maneb offices.
This year each student paid an average of K30 000 in examination registration and fees and the money is collected through the management of respective schools who in return pay to Maneb.
Maneb spokesperson Simeon Maganga confirmed in an interview that after reconciling their records, it was discovered that the schools did not pay the examination fees despite most of them receiving the money from the candidates.
“Registration of candidates takes place at school level and students pay from there. Schools are expected to deposit the amount and give us bank deposit slips. It was during reconciliation that we discovered some discrepancies. We informed the management of the said schools, however if they fail to respond in time we will have no option but to withhold the results,” said Maganga.
The Maneb spokesperson could not immediately give the specific number of students involved but said the actual figure for the unpaid examination fees is K58 242 910 while 13, 648 592 is a 20 percent penalty for late payment.
Maganga said last year Maneb experienced similar incidents with almost the same number of schools failing to pay the examination fees for its students.
He explained that this year, the board made sure that all students write the examination and resolve all issues that follow later to avoid breaching students’ right to education but the schools are required to pay a penalty charge.
In the past years some directors of mainly private schools have been arrested for allegedly embezzling examination fees for their students.
Maneb finished registration for the 2017 MSCE examination on December 9 2016, however, it provided a chance for late registration with a penalty of K2000 per student up until December 30, 2016.