Minister of Education, Science and Technology , Emmauel Fabiano has said this year’s form two students will be the last to sit for national Junior Certificate of Education (JCE) examination as there will be no JCE examination from the 2016/17 academic year.
Fabiano told a news conference on Wednesday said the decision to abolish Junior Certificate and the Malawi Primary School examinations is part of on going Public Reforms Programmes.
“The last JCE examination to be administered will, therefore, be in 2016 for the current Form 2 students. The Ministry would like all secondary school students to remain in school until they complete Form 4 when they will sit for the Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) examinations.
“Successful candidates shall be awarded an MSCE Certificate as is the case now while the unsuccessful candidates shall be awarded a Certificate of Completion which will recognize the fact that the owner of the certificate went through and completed secondary education,” said Fabiano.
“The emphasis here is on knowledge, skills and values acquired by secondary school students and not the number of public examinations passed. It should be understood that the only reason we send children to school is for them to learn and acquire the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes as set out in the curriculum. Examinations are part of the learning process but are not the main objective of education,” he said.
According to the Minister, examinations are not the main objective of education; children are send to school to learn and acquire the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes as set out in the curriculum.
“The Ministry would like to promote the practice of continuous assessment from Form1 through to Form 4 in order for schools to thoroughly cover the Curriculum as opposed to the current practice which is, to a greater extent, examination oriented as both students and teachers focus much on JCE examination results rather than acquisition of knowledge, skills, values and positive attitudes. In fact, most of Term 3 of Form 2 is spent on preparing for JCE examinations and not learning for understanding,” reads the statement.
In order to promote continuous assessment, the ministry will strengthen the cluster examination system which will be used as part of secondary school teacher development activity and students learning hubs in line with its plans.
“Therefore, instead of having Junior Certificate Examinations, students will sit for Cluster Based Examinations. Since the Ministry wishes to promote acquisition of knowledge, skills, values and positive attitudes by students as opposed to simply pass examinations, secondary schools shall have the responsibility to encourage students that are struggling with their studies in Forms 1, 2 and 3 to benefit from remedial classes or to repeat the year before proceeding to the next class (Forms 2, 3,4)”.
“Cluster management teams shall be responsible for setting and marking cluster based examinations within each cluster. Therefore, instead of having Junior Certificate Examinations, students will sit for Cluster Based Examinations.” said Fabiano.