By Duncan Mlanjira
The quota that was introduced by Government in 1987 used to select successful students for tertiary education has been abolished and at the same time the Junior Certificate of Education (JCE), which was abolished has been reinstated.
This was announced in Lilongwe on Thursday by Minister of Education, Science and Technology, William Susuwele Banda, saying based on numerous interventions government has put in place, coupled with numerous consultations with the society and academia, there is a great need to rethink on the issues of quality, equity and need to provide opportunities to well deserving students.
“Since Quota was introduced in 1987, the context has changed as we now have reasonable spaces,” the Minister said. “Quota System of selecting students into various colleges and universities is abolished forthwith.
“Due to space limitations, selection to universities has been subjected to equitable access, popularly known as Quota System, with a view to uplift disadvantaged groups in a society with limited opportunities for higher education.”
He impressed that Government initiated massive infrastructure development at tertiary level, coupled with the delinking of the University of Malawi into three independent universities, saying these universities will be allowed to take more students than ever before.
Further to this, Government introduced Open Distance and E-Learning in public universities that will offer more hope and space for the youth.
The Minister said the Government will also continue with its affirmative action towards girls and students with disabilities including albinos.
He said Government has reinstated JCE, responding public demand which had said its abolition meant that students were taking four years in secondary school before taking a national examination.
“This arrangement encouraged students to relax and at the end, not doing well in their examinations at the end of the four years.
“Furthermore, candidates that failed MSCE Examination had nothing to show for their attendance at secondary school level.
The resumption of JCE shall be effected from the 2020/2021 school calendar year and the first examinations will be taken in 2021.