Malawi National Examinations Board (Maneb) has released this year’s Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) examinations results which show a 63.23 percent pass rate.
Addressing the press in Blantyre on Wednesday, Maneb executive director Gerald Chiunda said although the pass rate has increased by two percent compared to last year, the quality of grades has gone down.
This year, no candidate has scored the highest aggregate of six points in the best six subjects while only one has scored seven points. Out of 197 287 candidates who sat the examinations, 124 745 have passed, representing 63.23 percent pass rate.
Chiunda also confirmed reports that some examinations papers were leaked before and during the examinations, saying police have so far arrested 29 people in connection with the examination leakage.
He said: “As we drew towards the end of administration of major papers on 4th July 2018 early in the morning, we saw three out of the 54 MSCE papers on social media [WhatsApp].
“These were Chichewa III, Life Skills, and Science and Technology. A comparison of these three papers with our papers showed that they were genuine and that they were administered later that day.”
He said investigations are still underway to establish the source of the leakages, adding the board is in the process of procuring anti-cyber services outside the country to trace the loopholes.
According to Maneb, male candidates performed better than females, with 70 420 out of 103 817 males passing, representing a 67.83 percent pass rate. Female candidates, however, had a 58.12 percent pass rate with 54 325 out of 93 469 candidates passing. And 368 out of 653 special needs candidates have also passed.
Reacting to the MSCE results, Civil Society Education Coalition (Csec) executive director Benedicto Kondowe expressed worry on the decline in individual performance.
He observed that in previous years the pass rate was low but many candidates scored good grades.
Said Kondowe: “In terms of excellence, we haven’t done well despite that the general outlook is showing an increase in pass rate compared to previous years. What matters is how have individuals passed, because again as a country we are interested in excellence. This means having many candidates with good grades. For instance, not a single candidate has scored six points and we have few candidates with good grades, which is pathetic.”
He said there is need for government to put extra effort to improve education standards particularly in community day secondary schools (CDSSs).
Below is the number of candidates who passed and their grades.
The examination results report shows that no candidate got the highest aggregate of six points, one got seven points, four got 8 points, 44 got nine points, 77 got 10 points, 258 got 11 points, 478 got 12 points, 613 got 13 points, 769 got 14 points, 973 got 15 points, 1063 got 16 points, 1318 got 17 points, 1393 got 18 points, 1592 got 19 points while 1835 got 20 points.