The Malawi government though Ministry of Education, Science and Technology has officially announced final decision that it will, from 2016/2017 academic year phase out the Junior Certificate of Education (JCE) examination.
Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Emmanuel Fabiano said this during the press briefing conducted to express government stand on the development.
Fabiano said the last JCE examination to be administered will be in 2016 for the current Form 2 students.
He backed up the decision by saying that Ministry has a desire for all secondary school students to remain in school until they complete Form 4 when they will sit for the Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) examinations.
Due to this, successful candidates shall be awarded an MSCE Certificate as is the case now while the unsuccessful candidates shall be awarded a Certificate of Completion which will recognize the fact that the owner of the certificate went through and completed secondary education.
“The emphasis here is on knowledge, skills and values acquired by secondary school students and not the number of public examinations passed.
“It should be understood that the only reason we send children to school is for them to learn and acquire the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes as set out in the curriculum. Examinations are part of the learning process but are not the main objective of education”, he explained.
He further added that Ministry would like to promote the practice of continuous assessment from Form 1 through to Form 4 in order for schools to thoroughly cover the Curriculum as opposed to the current practice which is, to a greater extent, examination oriented as both students and teachers focus much on JCE examination results rather than acquisition of knowledge, skills, values and positive attitudes. In fact, most of Term 3 of Form 2 is spent on preparing for JCE examinations and not learning for understanding.
Government complains that it spends a lot of money to administer the examination and instead wants to redirect the financial resources to other productive areas.
The abolishment of JCE examinations is part of the ongoing Public Service Reforms in the country.