Private schools lobby for MANEB’s extension of examination fees payment deadline

Private Schools Owners Association of Malawi (PRISAM) has called upon the Malawi National Examinations Board (MANEB) to consider extending the period of registering and paying examination fees for the 2023 Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) arguing that doing so will enable accommodate repeaters who only heard of their fates last Friday.

MANEB released the 2022 MSCE examinations results on Friday, December 2, 2022. The deadline for the 2023 MSCE examinations is December 16, 2022 and it means those wishing to re-sit the exams next year have 14 days.

PRISAM vice president Patricia Chisi

On average, a student who wants to sit for eight subjects is expected to cough out about K24 000, and PRISAM vice president Patricia Chisi said much as the figure may appear small to some, it is a mountain too high to climb for many.

“The December 16, 2022 deadline is not in favour of those that want to retake the exams. The results were only released last week, and considering the economic constraints in the country, it is unimaginable how many of these will manage. They will definitely be ruled out,” said Chisi.

But MANEB’s spokeswoman, Mayamiko Chiwaya, quashed the concerns saying “the Board will stick to its initial deadline.”

Said Chiwaya: “MANEB is currently monitoring everything through the e-registration and e-payment systems on the same.”

Last year, following similar concerns, the Government through the Ministry of Education extended the period of paying fees for all national examinations to 18 days.

Minister of Education Agnes NyaLonje said the move was to allow parents and guardians to register their children without any challenges.

“We noticed that there were complaints from parents and guardians whose children are sitting for this year’s national exams complaining that the period for paying examination fees is too short. That is why we have decided to extend the period so as to allow them to register their children without any challenge,” NyaLonje said.

Social commentator and educationist, Jackson Msiska, said in an interview that much as it was pertinent that MANEB stick to its calendar, the calls for extension are valid.

“These calls are genuine and they make sense. The results were only out a few days ago and, in a few days, there is a deadline. Had it been that MANEB released the exams in time, we wouldn’t have been having some of these complaints now. The Board needs to do better as far as releasing examinations in time is concerned,” said Msiska.

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