Chakwera talks tough on exam leakage; Top MANEB management to be removed

By Patricia Kapulula, MANA

President Lazarus Chakwera has given Minister of Education a seven-day period to work with Malawi National Examination Board (MANEB) MANEB to investigate on who leaked the 2020 Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) examinations and to re-administer the cancelled exam before the end of January 2021.

Chunda, MANEB boss

Speaking at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe on Thursday during a state of the nation address on emerging issues, Chakwera wondered as to what motive the leakage was for that led to the cancellation of the exams.

Chakwera, whose address comes amidst anguish regarding the pace in clearing the rubble, said having several examination papers leaked which has caused the education of hundreds of thousands of students affected is unacceptable.

“Whatever the motive, the leakage is clearly a deliberate act of criminality, impunity and negligence which cannot be allowed to continue,” he said.

Chakwera at State House on Thursday

He expressed concern that re-administering the examinations in March next year is not in the public interest, hence the need to re-administer them at the earliest time possible as students cannot wait for five months for them.

The President has since given up to the end of November, this year, to replace MANEB management over the leakage.

“Top MANEB management should be removed and replaced with a new team that would give confidence of a credible examination,” he said.

Minister of Education NyaLonje

Among other things, the President warned public servants to work effectively and efficiently, saying incompetence and negligence are a cancer in the service which cannot be condoned.

He, therefore, emphasised on the need to come up with new policies and procedures for a vibrant civil service.

The 2020 MSCE examinations were initially scheduled for June but were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

MANEB Executive Director, Gerald Chiunda — while condemning the criminal act — suspects the leakage happened right inside MANEB.

He said government spends a lot of money in administering examinations and their cancellation is a step backwards.

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