Malawi National Examinations Board (Maneb) will today start administering the Junior Certificate of Education examinations after a five-year break with 135 619 candidates taking the exam over the next eight business days.
In an interview yesterday, Maneb spokesperson Mayamiko Chiwaya assured that all was set for the re-introduction of the examinations for Form Two learners.
She said that to ensure no hurdles during the exams administration, the board conducted orientation sessions for invigilators, examination centre supervisors and security personnel.
Chiwaya said: “All examination administrators have been given terms of reference which they are supposed to sign for as a contract agreement with Maneb to administer the examinations fairly.”
She allayed fears of the examinations being interrupted by perennial wrangles over administrators allowances, saying all stakeholders have been paid their dues.
In 2016, Ministry of Education abolished the examinations following recommendations under the Public Sector Reforms which established that government would save about K2 billion in public funds.
But some educationists argued at the time that the examinations, which government re-instated in February last year, were no longer relevant.
In an interview yesterday, educationist Steve Sharra said the reintroduction of the JCE would yield better Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) examination results when the current Form Two cohort completes their secondary school studies.
“Removing JCE meant that some students and schools thought they had some years to relax. Some only became serious in Form 4.
“So, removing JCE examinations played a big role in the poor performance at MSCE in the recent years,” he said.
Sharra said the country can make an informed guess of how the removal of JCE examinations affected the education outcomes by analysing the MSCE results.
Education rights activist Benedicto Kondowe, who is Civil Society Education Coalition (Csec) executive director, said yesterday that the abolition of the examinations attracted resistance from stakeholders, including Csec.
“We expected the abolishment JCE to backfire that’s why we welcome its re-introduction this year,” he said.
Former president Peter Mutharika approved reforms in the education sector, including the abolition of JCE examinations in 2015.