Chief internal auditor at the Malawi National Examinations Board (MANEB), Harrison Manda, and owner of Multi Career as well as Royal Private Secondary Schools in Karonga and Mzuzu respectively is said to have been behind the leakage of the 2020 Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) examinations that led to their cancellation before they were administered in January this year, Nyasa Times understands.
Our sources, who include teachers, students and other school owners based in Mzuzu, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said for sometime now Manda has been “fond of leaking some examination papers” to form four learners at his schools.
Said our source: “It happens when form fours are about to sit for their MSCE exams. Teachers at Multi Career select capable learners and start holding special classes with them. Whatever is taught during those special lessons is exactly what appears during examination.”
According to the source, the development “explains why Manda’s schools are performing better than any other private schools here [in Mzuzu].”
In the immediate past released MSCE examinations, the best student—from both of his schools—had 10 points; of the 500 that sat for the examinations—again from both of Manda’s schools—330 passed.
Results in other private schools in both Karonga and Mzuzu, Nyasa Times checked, were beyond average.
But in a telephone interview with Nyasa Times, Manda fervently denied the allegations and said those that were perpetrating them were driven by “unprecedented jealous.”
Manda said his schools outstandingly perform because of a system in place which provides monetary awards to teachers as motivation.
“That’s a total lie. Yes, I am an auditor here at MANEB but I don’t have a chance to know what the examiners and what they are doing,” said Manda.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday released its 2021 examination calendar, saying it is working round the clock in ensuring that their administration runs smoothly.
But there are threats whether the calendar will hold as the Covid-19 pandemic remains a threat towards disruption of schools’ operations.
Last year the statutory corporation had to cancel the Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) examination following unprecedented leakage of some examination papers that were massively shared on social online portals especially WhatsApp.
Mathematics and Chemistry papers had circulated on social media hours before their scheduled, time a development which had forced the MANEB board to order the cancellation of the exams.
MANEB executive director, Gerald Chiunda, had said during a press briefing that he had suspected that the leakage occurred at the institution.
Prior to the cancellation of the exams, which had been slated for June 2020 but were administered from October 2020, schools had been shutdown for six months courtesy of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Fresh exams that were administered from January 5 this year, cost the examinations board K4.5 million for printing costs and management, according to Minister of Education, Science and Technology Agness NyaLonje.
But in a press release seen by Nyasa Times MANEB said it was “prepared.”
According to the press document, Primary Teacher Certificate Examination (PTCE) will be the first to be administered from August 10 to 13 followed by Primary School Leaving Certificate of Education (PSLCE) examinations from September 26 to October 7.
“Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) exams be administered October 26 to November 18,” outlines the press statement in part.
MANEB said the calendar has been affected by disruptions heightened by the coronavirus pandemic.
It is also not clear whether the calendar will be maintained high on the heels of threats of Covid-19 third wave and another looming Teachers Union of Malawi (TUM) strike following government’s failure to commit itself to giving teachers their once-off Covid-19 risk allowances.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :