MSCE invigilators cry over chopped allowances

Some of this year’s Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) examinations invigilators say they have been duped of their allowances.

Apart from being paid their 10 days allowances as expected, the invigilators have complained to have pocketed less than what was stated in the contracts signed with the Malawi National Examination Board (Maneb).

Nyasa Times has learned the invigilators were supposed to be paid, per day, K200 as station allowance, K3,000 duty allowance (for urban invigilators) and K6,000 for night rural invigilators, and K3,000 in transport allowance. In total urban invigilators were expected to pocket K62, 000 at the end of the 10 days supervision.

However, discrepancies have been registered in the amount of money paid to the invigilators across the country as some examination centres pocketed less than the expected amount while in other areas have been paid more.

Bisika: No Capital Hill's immediate comment

Corroborated information indicates that Zomba urban centre invigilators pocketed K34,500, in Dedza they received K22,000 only while in Lilongwe urban they were given K32,500 out of the expected 10-day allowance of K62,000.

Duped

In separate interviews the concerned invigilators decried the shortfall in the amount paid and suspect they were duped by Maneb officials.

“On the contract paper it was indicated that we will be paid K62, 000 but surprisingly when they came to pay us last week, only half the total amount was paid. On inquiry we were referred to Maneb, as they claimed that was all they were given to pay and Maneb can answer for the balances,” complained one of the invigilators.

Another questioned how the officials came up with the paid figures for the invigilators and examination supervisors, arguing this year’s calculations raise a lot of eyebrows.

“Usually, a supervisor gets more than an invigilator. The difference between their allowances is always huge, but this year, it only differs with K2, 000. The question is, how did they come up with such calculations? What mathematical formula did they use for such amounts?”

Public Relations Officer for Maneb, Gerald Chiunda, while confirming to have already paid some of the invigilators, distanced his institution from any allowance shortage or discrepancies.

“As far as I know, we have already paid some of the invigilators and supervisors. Of course we still have two or three days allowances for others, but most of them were paid their full 10-days allowances,” he said.

Chiunda added: “If there is any problem in the amount they received, then they should ask their District Education Managers (DEMs) because those were the ones who were paying out the money on behalf of Maneb. We communicated everything to them.”

He further said on June 28 Maneb sent emails to all DEMs, explaining in detail how allowances should be disbursed and how much each invigilator and supervisor should get.

Chiunda while describing the matter as a result of “communication breakdown’, could however not be drawn to reveal on how much the invigilators were promised to pocket at the end of their 10-days contracts, saying all was explained in the emails sent DEMs.

The MSCE examinations started two weeks ago sitting some 130,000 candidates from both government and private schools in their quest to join university education.

Principal-secretary in the Ministry of Education , John Bisika ,  could  not give an immediate comment.

This year’s total registered number represents 30 percent higher from last year’s where 99,000 candidates sat for similar examinations.

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