Malawi National Examinations Board (Maneb) has reported two cheating cases in the Junior Certificate of Education (JCE) examinations which began last Monday and are expected to end on Friday.
According to Maneb, besides the two cheating cases, it has also withdrawn the services of a police officer who was guarding examination papers at a distribution centre at Chizumulu Health Centre on Chizumulu Island for leaving the post unattended.
Maneb spokesperson Simeon Maganga said in an interview yesterday that the board normally involves police officers in guarding distribution centres and on Friday, around 9:30pm, a Maneb officer who is on the ground went to the said distribution centre for patrol but did not find the police officer stationed there.
“The officer went back two other times, around 4:20am and 8:30am on Saturday but the police officer was nowhere to be found. As much as our laws stipulates that negligent officers ought to be arrested, the police service is handling the matter and the officer in question has been withdrawn from duties for leaving the post unattended,” he said.
About the two cheating incidences, Maganga said the first case was reported last Wednesday in Lilongwe West Education District, an area bordering Mchinji.
He said the suspect, Liphet Gambatula, 21, who was writing the examinations at Chileka Community Day Secondary School (CDSS) Cluster Centre, is a student at God’s Power Private Secondary School in the area.
“Gambatula was found with a reference material, also known as likasa, during a mathematics paper. She was arrested on the spot and handed over to Namitete Police for prosecution. She was released on police bail and is continuing writing the examination,” he said.
According to Maganga, the second incident happened on Friday when Joseph Mataya, 23, an Open Distance Learning (ODL) candidate, was arrested in Nasawa in Zomba Rural Education District.
“The suspect was found with a likasa during the writing of life skills on Thursday but was arrested the following day. Arrangements were made soon after his arrest and he appeared before court the same Friday. He pleaded guilty and sentencing is tomorrow,” said Maganga.
At least 143 134 candidates are sitting for this year’s JCE examinations, the last to be administered following government’s decision last year to have them abolished as part of President Peter Mutharika’s reforms in the education sector.