Catholic Church authorities have closed down Mtendere Secondary School because of fracas, negatively affecting Form Four students who are now operating as day scholars as they are sitting for the final examination.
The education secretary for Catholic schools Pascal Mtwana said Mtendere had to be closed prematurely after Form Four students rioted in disagreement with management decision to suspend one of the students who was found drunk.
“The students have found private places where they are lodging as they sit for the MSCE examination. They went on rampage, questioning the school management decision to suspend a drunken student,” said Mtwana.
He said the suspended student used to drink beer excessively against school rules.
Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) students started sitting for their final examinations on Tuesday.
The Malawi National Examinations Board (Maneb) has since registered a 54 percent decline in the number of candidates for the 2019 MSCE examinations.
According to Maneb spokesperson Mayamiko Chiwaya, about 96 000 candidates are expected to sit the examinations this year, a drop from 2018 when 209 000 candidates registered.
She attributed the decline to the introduction of the new secondary school curriculum.
The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST) rolled out the new secondary school curriculum in the 2015/16 academic year, a year after postponing its implementation due to logistical challenges.
However, implementation of the new curriculum has been a major challenge for a number factors ,including lack of textbooks, learning facilities such as laboratories and training of teachers mostly in areas of special needs.
Government, through MoEST and Malawi Institute of Education (MIE), had been reviewing the secondary school curriculum since 2009.
The new curriculum seeks to emphasise on science subjects and equip students with learner-centred approaches as well as adequate and relevant skills to cope with tertiary education and the world of work life in general