Covid-19 pandemic has brought about many changes in all sectors including education. In March 2020, Government ordered closure of schools as a preventive measure against the pandemic consequently MANEB suspended examinations timetables until when schools would reopen.
Schools reopened on 7th September using a phased approach starting with examination classes and MANEB , in consultation with the Ministry of Education developed new examinations timetables .The timetables were sent to registered examination centres through District Education Managers offices . The Primary School Leaving Certificate of Education (PSLCE) examination was to be administered from 30th September to 2nd October 2020 .
REGISTRATION AND ID PRODUCTION FOR THE EXAMINATION
All due processes leading to the administration of the examination were properly undertaken. The processes included registration of candidates for the examination at school level, which was done from 16th September to 31st October, 2019. According to circular that MANEB sent to schools regarding the registration, closing date for submission of the registration data and photo collection forms to MANEB offices was 15th November, 2020. In December, nominal rolls were produced and sent to schools to accord the candidates an opportunity to verify correctness of their details. Total number of candidates who registered for the examination is 302, 968.
In March 2020, MANEB sent candidates’ identity cards to schools for learners who had registered for the examination through District Education Offices.
ADMINISTRATION OF THE EXAMINATION
In June and July MANEB carried out PSLCE and MSCE cluster centre verification exercise to ascertain the availability of classrooms against candidature and number of invigilators. The verification was based on the information that the District Education Offices had submitted to MANEB through the computerized invigilation templates.
Delivery of examination materials to hoarding centres was done by District Education Offices in liaison with MANEB . For cities and some towns, delivery of the examination was done on daily basis by MANEB staff using MANEB vehicles specifically procured for this purpose.
Payment of allowances to examination administrators including security personnel was done prior to the administration of the examination. Monitoring of the administration of the examination was done jointly by MANEB and other key stakeholders, among them, Ministry of Education Officials who included the Minister of Education, Honourable Agness Nyalonje , and the Deputy Minister of Education, Honourable Madalitso Kambauwa Wirima, MP.
Through the monitoring it was generally noted that examination centres had complied with the necessary covid-19 preventive measures which included provision of hand washing facilities, the wearing of masks by candidates and examination administrators and observance of the 1.4 metres apart as per MANEB’s standing regulations for examinations. Absenteeism of learners was noted in some of the centres. All cluster centres had adequate invigilators and at every centre there was a security officer.
Nsanje police arrested Mr Hashim Issa who was invigilating examination at Nyachilenda cluster centre for assisting five candidates with answers. At Nkhwazi cluster centre in Mchinji, two candidates were arrested by Police for exchanging scripts during the administration of Chichewa paper. The candidates are Billiat Joseph and Shalom Bisalom.
MANEB is sincerely grateful to all personnel that was involved in the administration of this year’s PSLCE examination right from registration of candidates through to monitoring of the examination. Offices of Directors of Education, Youth and Sports (DEYS) played a pivotal role in the entire process of administration of the examination. The DEYS offices were responsible for receipt and keying in of registration data for their respective districts, submission of the data to MANEB offices for consolidation, identification of examination administrators, delivery of examination materials to distribution centres and transfer of written scripts from distribution centres to hoarding centres. MANEB appreciates their commitment and dedication to this national service.
MANEB also expresses gratitude to the Honourable Minister of Education and her Deputy Minister for their participation in the monitoring of examination administration in Nkhatabay,Mzuzu, Salima and Nkhotakota. This was a clear demonstration of unwavering support for MANEB.