The Malawi National Examinations Board (Maneb) is this morning expected to start administering a re-sit of the Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) examinations which were cancelled on November 4 2020 following widespread leakage of some papers.
According to a timetable we have seen, the examination will start with practical papers for science subjects today, with other papers to follow until January 29 2021.
At 10 am today, candidates will sit Agriculture practical paper, followed by Biology tomorrow, Chemistry on Thursday and Physics on Friday.
In an interview yesterday, educationist Steve Sharra said some candidates may still experience anxiety in examination rooms due to the disruption in their final secondary school academic year.
He, however, was optimistic that those students who kept studying beyond normal class lessons will attain better grades.
Said Sharra: “I am sure they [candidates] were finding ways of continuing to prepare and to study. So, I am hoping they will surprise us by doing better than we expect them to do. But the acknowledgement is that this is a very tough year for them.
“My fear is that those who didn’t have the means to have a private tutor should expect the results to be quite unfortunate.”
Spot-checks The Nation conducted yesterday in some secondary schools in Blantyre, Mangochi, Ntcheu, Kasungu, Mzimba and Karonga found that both teachers and candidates were set for the examinations.
Some secondary schools in Blantyre such as Chichiri, Ndirande Hill and Zingwangwa had set up sitting plans for practical examinations in line with the one-metre distance Covid-19 precautionary requirement.
Entrances to most examination halls had posters marked “No Mask, No Entry”.
Candidates were seen doing their final preparations for the examinations, with some studying alone while others held group discussions.
A candidate at Chichiri Secondary School, Charles Banda said he was ready for the examinations, adding he was glad they are finally having the resit.
In a separate interview, a teacher at Chamakala Community Day Secondary School in Kasungu North, Dadie Kambatuwa reassured that all candidates will observe Covid-19 preventive measures, including physical distancing, wearing of masks and hand washing or sanitising before entering the examination hall.
During the cancelled 2020 MSCE examinations, 154 147 were expected to sit the examination, out of which 72 641 were female and 81 506 were male.