One of the leading education experts in the country has pegged the cost of the Malawi School Certificate of Education at K21.5 billion.
Limbani Nsapato said it is estimated that it costs K466, 975 per student for four years of secondary school education, according to data from the Education Management Information Systems of the ministry of Education.
Nsapato said the data was collected for the 2015 to 2016 academic year and 2018 to 2019 academic year of secondary education.
“This translates to a total of K21, 526, 679, 600 for the 46, 096 students who failed to secure MSCE.
Government says out of the 92, 867 students who sat for MSCE examinations, 46,771 passed which is 50.36% pass rate while 46, 096 students failed, which is 49.63% failure rate.
Nsapato says in the 2018/19 financial year, the education sector received the highest share of the total government budget.
The education sector received K345 billion and the secondary education was allocated K39 billion.
“The K21.5 billion lost through expenditures on those who failed is equivalent to 55% of the 2018/19 secondary school education or six per cent of the total budget for education,” says Nsapato.
He says this figure is equivalent to the total funds received from foreign donors in the 2018/19 financial year based on 2018 Unicef budget brief (Unicef, 2019).
He said expenditure trend analysis over the past decade shows that over 70% of development expenditure in education is from donor funds.
“This lost money could be used to train teachers, increase salaries for teachers, pay buesaries to needy students, school libraries or laboratories and many more,” says Nsapato.
He says in the academic year or so, most of those who failed MSCE will have to repeat from at least from form 3 to have hope of securing the certificate in the coming two years.
“This will be another financial loss for the nation. As a nation, we need to seriously address the factors that might have contributed to the disastrous performance of students in the MSCE and avoid loss of money which could have been better used for the development of the country,” says Nsapato.
Minister of Education, Science and Technology William Sususwele Banda attributed the disastrous MSCE results to, among others, a new syllabus which was introduced a year before the examinations and questions were based on the new syllabus which most students did not study much.
Some education analysts are attributing the poor results to the abolition of the junior certificate education examinations which kept the students in check before sitting for the MSCE.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :