Malawi National Examinations Board (Maneb) has started engaging stakeholders in readiness for 2017 examinations, and revealed some reforms made to the administration of the exams.
The board has since called on schools to secure alternative source of power to be used during examinations in case of power blackouts.
Speaking during one of the six annual review meetings with education managers, district commissioners and police officers in Blantyre, Director of Inspectorate and advisory Services in the Ministry of Education, Raphael Agabu said the meetings were aimed at finding solutions to improve on how to administer examinations this year.
“Such meetings provide a platform that enables us all, as stakeholders in the Malawi education system, to learn from the experiences of previous year’s administration of national examinations and use such experiences to inform our preparation for the administration of national examinations in the current year,” said Agabu who chaired the meeting.
Agabu said unlike in the previous examinations, this year they have not made any special arrangements with Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) to ensure examination centres are spared of power blackouts.
“Instead we have urged schools to find standby power supply sources in case of electricity power blackouts especially for MSCE Computer Studies practical paper.”
He then revealed that just as in the previous years, there are also some innovations in the way national examinations will be administered this year in an effort to improve for the better.
“Unlike in the past, this year the MSCE Biology Paper II and Agriculture Paper II will be administered on the same day. Some quarters already expressed their reservations towards this arrangement. But it should be noted that MANEB already looked at the pros and cons of such an arrangement and it was discovered that it poses almost no risk at all to both the candidates and the examination results. This calls for the effort of the subject teacher, invigilator and the head teacher to ensure proper administration of the practical papers.”
He added that Maneb has made proper arrangement on the selection of selection of Special Needs Education (SNE) invigilators.
“Previously, it has been Maneb doing the selection. However, Maneb has been receiving a lot of complaints since the DEM’s offices had less powers over such invigilators. But, Maneb, being a responsive organization, has since heeded the complaints and beginning this year, the DEM’s offices have been mandated to select the said invigilators and a good number have already submitted the same to Maneb.”