By Glory Msowoya
Blantyre, May 9, Mana: Authorities from government and private schools have spoken highly of electronic system for registering candidates and collecting examination fees for national examinations.
This comes as Malawi National Examination Board (MANEB) in 2021 introduced the system as a pilot phase to bring sanity on examination fees payments and address some school level challenges that usually come during the registration.
The digital transactions are for Primary School Leaving Certificate of Education (PLSCE), Junior Certificate of Education (JCE) and the Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE).
Speaking to Malawi News Agency on Monday Primary Education Advisor for Zomba Rural Rosemary Phiri, said the introduction of E-registration and payment has simplified the work which head teachers were doing in registering of standard 8 learners.
She added that the system has also improved the knowledge of information, communication and technology in the education sector among teachers from rural areas.
“In the past we used to collect data from our candidates manually, even when it comes to sending of information to MANEB offices, teachers were travelling long distances to deliver the information of candidates but with the coming of this system, it has scrapped off all travels that were previously part of the registration process.
“To add on that head teachers have been forced to buy smartphones, so that they should do this activity easily, previously most of our head teachers in rural areas had those old phones with keypads but nowadays each one have smartphone in doing so it has increased knowledge of ICT in education sector,” she said.
Director of Jamo Private Schools from Lilongwe James Malilo said the system has increased efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of services.
Malilo added that the system has helped to reduce cases of theft of examination fees by misguided school administrators.
“Issues of misusing student’s examination fees has been reduced, currently parents are the one in control of the examination fees,” Malilo said
However, Head Teacher for Zomba Baptist Private Schools Lawrence Mbemba has urged communications service to make their internet accessible and fast even in rural areas to complement the objectives of the system.
“For connectivity there is need to have stable Internet, in some cases we have been failing to log in due to network issues, but all in all this system is good,” he said
President for ICT Association of Malawi (ICTAM) Bram Fudzulani hailed the move, saying it will allow the country to begin moving towards a more technology based in education sector.
“This system responds and resonates with government’s digitalization agenda which is calling for government agencies and MDAs to digitize their operations.
“This will go a long way in dealing with issues of revenue leakages which were there due to manual processes but it will so ensure efficiency in service delivery to the learners and parents,” he said
During the launch of the system, Malawi National Examinations Board said the system will be done in phases; so far 19 districts in the Northern Education Division and Central West Education Division and South East Education Division are using the system.