Malawi’s examinations board under pressure on MSCE leakage: 2 nabbed in Ntcheu

Pressure is mounting on Malawi National Examination Board (MANEB) to swiftly come up with the statement on the extent of the 2013 Malawi School Certificate of Examinations leakage that would help chart the way forward on the issue.

The pressure from various stakeholders in the education sector follows the massive leakage of the examinations that have seen many students arrested for possessing the papers beforehand.

Executive Director for Civil Society Coalition for Quality Basic Education (CSCQBE), a coalition of 81 NGOs in the education sector Benedicto Kondowe  says the statement from MANEB would be “crucial”  as a determining factor on whether the examinations should be reset or not.

“Although there are evidence that there has been massive leakage of examinations, we cannot say that there is need for reset this time around because MANEB has not come forward to confirm this and say what exactly went wrong,” said Kondowe during Tiuzeni Zoona program monitored on privately owned Zodiak Broadcasting Services aired on Sunday.

Kondowe: Maneb need to explain
Kondowe: Maneb need to explain

Kondowe, however, said even if the examinations are to be reset there is need for assurance that there won’t be another leakage.

“What we understand is that the leakages happen because of security problems in the administration of the examinations. Although this year’s examination were printed in UK, it seems we have a problem in ensuring maximum security especially during the time when the vehicles carrying the examinations are being escorted to various centres and during the period prior to the examinations day,” he says.

Kondowe also says sometimes the examinations may be leaked because of frustrations by those who are tasked to safeguard the examinations like the police and invigilators.

“There are issues of police and invigilators not being paid allowances in time. This may force them to find way of earning a living by selling some of the papers or conniving with the authorities at the examinations centre so that they can get something.”

Kondowe quashed suggestion that the best option to avoid such leakages is to start sitting for Cambridge examinations, saying Malawi is too poor for such examinations.

Maneb executive director Roy Hauya admitted  receiving reports that examination papers have been leaked and are on sale. But he said the board would launch an investigations.

More Arrests

Meanwhile, the spate of arrests related to the examination leakage continues as Police in Ntcheu nabbed two form four students for alleged possession of ongoing MSCE examination paper.

Ntcheu police assistant public relations officer Laston Chapansi said the two candidates Erick Banda 21 of Ntcheu secondary open school and 19 year old Bridget Wesley of Ntcheu community day secondary school were found with Life skills paper material.

According to Chapansi, the two are charged with an offence of gaining access to national examinations without authority, which attracts a fine of 300 thousand kwacha or serve 10 years imprisonment with hard labour if proven guilty.

MANEB examinations assistant caught the two with the material, and Bridget said she got it from Erick, who got it frmo a friend through the internet.

Erick Banda comes from Kandota village T/a Kwataine while Bridget Wesley is from Chasasa village T/a Makwangwala, both of Ntcheu district.

This comes amid numerous arrests and convictions of some students who were found guilty on similar offenses.

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