Blantyre, September 16, Mana: Malawi National Examinations Board (MANEB) has disclosed it has set aside over MK 1 billion to cater for allowances and other administrative costs during the administration of this year’s Primary School Leaving Certificate of Education (PSLCE) examinations.
At least 302, 968 standard eight candidates will sit for the national examination slated to start on September 30, 2020.
Making the disclosure in Blantyre at a media briefing on Tuesday, MANEB Executive Director, Gerald Chiunda, said the funds are meant to cover allowances and transport costs for examination administrators.
“Examination administration is not a cheap thing. It is quite pricy, but we are working hard as management of MANEB to ensure that we have the money that should enable people to go out there and handle the examination process professionally.
“Professionalism will come in several aspects, one of which is the enabling environment. So to us as MANEB, we feel that to create that enabling environment, the teachers and the security officers need to have their allowances as they go,” said Chiunda.
Asked how much the whole examination will cost, Chiunda estimated that this year’s PSLCE examinations will cost about K3.6 billion.
Schools in Malawi reopened on September 7 after a seven-month break due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
According to Chiunda, by the time schools were closing, printing, packing and boxing of examination materials were already done.
Despite this development, he said the examination body will not change the dates on the question papers even though there is a change in examination dates.
“Tampering with examination envelopes containing question papers is a breach of security, hence the decision not to open the examination envelopes to change the details on the question papers.
“However, to ensure that officers at the examination distribution centres do not open examination cartons on wrong dates, we have relabeled each and every carton with new dates for opening of the cartons,” he said.
Meanwhile, MANEB has also disclosed that about 154, 146 candidates will seat for this year’s Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) Examinations this year beginning October 27 to November 20.
Like the PSLCE Examinations, Chiunda said the MSCE examination papers were ready before the COVID-19 enhanced schools closure and that some of the materials required for practical examinations have already been sent to schools.
Chiunda also disclosed that the examining board is on course in its preparation for the first Junior Certificate Examinations since its suspension years ago. He said the examination will be administered in 2021.