MANEB warns schools to expect blackouts during exams

Malawi exams

The Malawi National Examination Board (MANEB) has urged schools to have a backup source of power such as solar panels and generators as they are preparing for the 2017 national examinations.

According to a statement by the board, MANEB had been enjoying almost no or very minimal load shedding courtesy of a special agreements with ESCOM but with the continued power outages there is no guarantee of uninterrupted power supply during the administration of Computer Studies exams.

Candidates writing exams

“Actually there will be no agreement with ESCOM on provision of uninterrupted power supply from this year. This is the more reason that MANEB wrote all schools that offer Computer Studies to arrange for a standby generator or solar energy for power should there be no power during the Computer Studies practical examination,” stressed the statement.

“This arrangement will ensure that Computer Studies candidates are not negatively affected during the administration of the practical examination,” adds the statement.

The statement that has been released by MANEB has also tackled the issue of candidates taking two practical examinations on the same day.

According to the statement, unlike in the past, this year the MSCE Biology Paper II and Agriculture Paper II will be administered on the same day.

MANEB has said that some quarters already expressed their reservations towards this arrangement.

“It should be noted, however, that MANEB already looked at the pros and cons of such an arrangement and it was discovered that it poses almost no risk at all to both the candidates and the examination results. This, however, calls for the effort of the subject teacher, invigilator and the Headteacher to ensure proper administration of the practical papers,” reads the statement.

The other issue that has been innovated is of selection of invigilators for Special Needs Education (SNE) learners.

According to MANEB, they had been receiving a lot of complaints since the District Education Managers offices had less powers over such invigilators.

As a way of innovating the system MANEB, being a responsive organisation, has since heeded the complaints and beginning this year, DEM’s offices have been mandated to select the said invigilators.