The Malawi National Examinations Board (Maneb) says it has now started paying upkeep allowances to invigilators for the just ended Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) examinations after the treasury finally released the K1 billion that was required for the payments.
Speaking in an interview on Tuesday on the sidelines of the Southern Africa Association for Education Assessment (SAAEA) in Mangochi, Director of security at Maneb, Robert Harawa said some invigilators have already started receiving the allowances in their accounts while the board is still processing for others.
However, Harawa downplayed assertions that the delay in paying the invigilators might have affected administration of the examinations.
“We thank the invigilators for being patriotic by continuing with work despite the delay. Yes the delay might have affected the administration of the exams but not to a greater extent as the invigilators were rest assured that they will receive their money, and they surely delivered to our expectation,” he said.
In an earlier interview Maneb spokesperson Simeon Maganga said that the board being a non-profit making institution could not raise on its own the required amount as the fees students pay for the examinations only carters for 20 percent of the exam budget.
Commenting on the issue Teachers Union of Malawi (TUM) General Secretary Charles Kumchenga said they received information that the treasury has funded Maneb but could not tell if the teachers have started receiving their allowances.
He further said as TUM they will wait until all teachers receive their allowances to call off the nationwide strike scheduled for August 21, 2017 over Maneb’s failure to pay the allowances.
The MSCE examinations ended on Monday, July 17, 2017.
Last year, Maneb struggled to pay invigilators and TUM threatened to shun exam invigilation this year if teachers would not be given allowances in advance.
Meanwhile, education activist Limbani Nsapato has cautioned Maneb to take the issue of paying allowances to invigilators in time serious saying it raises questions on the credibility of the examination body.