Daily Times (Blantyre)

12 March 2002

Malawi: MSCE, JCE Results Disaster

Blantyre — MALAWI National Examination Board (Maneb) has released the delayed results for Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) and Junior Certificate of Education (JCE) for the 2001 academic year with an overall pass-rate of 18.01 percent and 51.21 respectively registering dropping by 1.64 percent and 14.52 from the 2000 academic year.

Maneb Executive Director Mathews Matemba said yesterday out of 61, 856 MSCE candidates that sat for the examinations, only 11,143 passed.

"There is also a drop in JCE results, 82,530 sat for the examinations but 47,218 passed. Last year's overall pass-rate percentage was higher comparing to this year," Matemba said.

The Maneb boss disclosed that the Board has disqualified an entire school for cheating on MSCE and the total number of disqualified candidates altogether is 2,633. On JCE 1, 218 have been disqualified.

Matemba was quick to say that the Board was not all that impressed with the results. He said there are several contributing factors to it, like teachers' strikes which saw some schools closed.

"Shortage of teachers, under-qualified and unqualified teachers in Community Day Secondary Schools, lack of teaching materials and indiscipline among the students are some of the contributing factors to the poor results," Matemba said.

Matemba said that the introduction of Social and integrated studies at JC level which were only taught last year did a severe blow to the candidates as teachers were not even send for orientation for those new subjects.

He, however, said there was a great improvement on part of Maneb because there was no paper leaked.

The delay in releasing the results, he said, was as a result of computer problems which rejected to mark 50 percent of multiple choice papers and were marked manually.

Maneb categorised how candidates faired in Conventional Secondary schools, Private Secondary Schools, Community Day Secondary Schools and External candidates.

On MSCE in Conventional Secondary Schools, 9,499 sat for examinations and 3,311 passed, representing a pass-rate of 34.86 percent. In Private Secondary School, 12,311 sat and 3,528 passed representing 28.66 percent.

9,866 sat as external candidates and 1,296 passed, a 13.14 percent.

Matemba said 9,414 sat in Conventional Secondary Schools for JCE and 6,576 passed, registering a 69.85 percent pass-rate. 9,926 sat in Private Secondary Schools and 6,771 passed registering a 68.21 percent.

47,629 sat from community day Secondary Schools and 28,184 passed representing a 59.17 percent. 16,561 candidates sat as external and 5,687 passed representing a 36.55 percent.

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