In a bid to end the vice that threatens the credibility of its annual exams, the Malawi National Examinations Board (MANEB) has announced a new way that will help stop cheaters in their tracks.
As a way of combating the evil, the board has embarked on a nationwide tour, sensitising schools and candidates on evils of examination malpractices and urging them to fight the vice.
The exercise, dubbed “Anti-Examination Cheating Campaign” began on Monday 18th January, 2016 and is targeting selected districts in all the three regions in the country.
MANEB Public Relations Officer, Simeon Maganga, said the board is communicating its messages using its in-house drama group to help make the message memorable.
“We’ve packaged our messages not only in speeches, brochure and posters but also in drama, music and poetry as we believe that edutainment leaves lasting impressions on the audience hence they could not easily forget anti-examination cheating messages,” said Maganga.
He further said, apart from preaching about examination malpractices, MANEB is also sternly warning candidates against any form of indiscipline during and after national examination.
“We’ve been getting informal reports that some candidates, mostly those in form four, choose to misbehave during and after sitting MSCE examination, claiming they are no longer under their respective schools but MANEB.
“Some of these candidates even go to the extent of vandalising school property, assaulting invigilators and/or their teachers, teasing and bullying their fellow students in lower classes and engaging in all sorts of misbehaviour.
“So, we are telling both students and teachers that should this happen this year, the board will evoke MANEB (Conduct of Examination) Regulation 29 (20) which provides for immediate disqualification of the culprits in the entire examination,” Maganga said.
He, however, said for MANEB to evoke this provision, supervisors or heads of school should formally lodge a complaint to MANEB, singling out such naught candidates by providing their names and examination numbers. He added that MANEB cannot act based on hearsay.
In the past week, MANEB has toured Umodzi Primary School in Zomba, Limbuli TDC in Mulanje, Chikwawa Secondary School, Mwanza Secondary School and Phalula CDSS in Balaka in the Southern Region.
In the Central Region, MANEB has visited New Era Boys Secondary School in Ntcheu, Umbwi Secondary School in Dedza, Ntchisi Secondary School Madisi Secondary School in Dowa, and is expected to visit Kasungu Teachers Training College this coming Friday.
According to Maganga, the activities are open to all candidates, teachers and interested individuals surrounding the venues.
This coming week, MANEB is visiting Bandawe Secondary School in Nkhatabay, Rumphi Secondary School, Maghemo Secondary School in Karonga and Chitipa Secondary School.
According to MANEB Act, punishment for being found and convicted of cheating during national examinations is a MK50, 000 and two (2) years imprisonment with hard labour (IHL) for candidates; and MK300, 000 and ten (10) years IHL for non-candidates.
MANEB is a parastatal, established by an Act of Parliament in 1987 to administer national examinations for purposes of certification, selection and placement.
MANEB’s core values are equitability and fairness, efficiency, innovativeness and responsiveness, professionalism and integrity, security cautiousness as well as transparency and accountability.