The Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has ordered the Malawi government to re-administer the Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) exams in a month’s time.
HRDC says the proposed timeframe by government is too long for candidates and this will not only be costly to government but parents as well.
“The proposed timeframe is in our considered view too long a wait for the candidates. We do not find any merit whatsoever for the candidates to wait till March 2021 to retake the examinations. We demand that the examinations be retaken in the shortest time possible.
“The exams should be retaken in a month’s time at most. In 2000 MANEB took a record one month to prepare and re-administer the Malawi Schools Certificate Examination.
“Relatedly, the more time government takes to re-administer these examinations the costlier it will be not only on government but also on parents and guardians. Already some private school are planning of a fourth term for these candidates come January 2021,” reads part of the statement.
The coalition has also ordered for an immediate resignation of Maneb Director Mr. Chiunda for his failure to handle the 2020 exams.
“Mr. Chiunda be relieved of his duties or should step down within five days from today. At the expiry of five days we will be left with no other option but to mobilize candidates to the streets to demand his resignation.”
HRDC has since advised government to come up with reasonable timeframe to investigate and bring to book all those involved in this malpractice.
“In our considered view, these investigations and thorough report should be made available within three weeks from today,” reads the statement.
The rights group has further urged Government to ease financial burden on parents by paying schools fees for the candidates.
“Government should also put in place measure to absorb and cushion the financial burden that guardians and parents are likely going to incur because of this mess. In our considered view we do not expect both government and private schools to demand schools’ fees for the possible 4th terms for the candidates,” reads part of the statement.
On Wednesday, government through the Minister of Education Agnes Nyalonje cancelled the 2020 MSCE exams after a massive leakage of some papers.
Government announced that the exams will now be administered in March next year.
This has come as a blow to the students who failed to write the exams in June due to Government’s decision to close down schools due to the Coronavirus pandemic.