By Synd Kalimbuka
Over 10 students at Chinamwali Private Secondary School missed two examination papers on Tuesday after the police fired teargas at the school during protests by minibus and taxi drivers in Zomba.
During this day, the Form 4 students were writing Mathematics paper II from 8:30 in the morning and Social Studies from 1pm to 3:30pm but did not make it on time because the police fired teargas just behind the hall up to the hostels at the school.
This resulted to the fainting of some students in the process and the school management called Malawi National Examination Board (MANEB) officials to appreciate the situation who in turn accepted the proposal to take the students to Mulunguzi secondary school to finish the two subjects.
But as they were ferrying students to the other examination centre, some students had not regained consciousness and didn’t know the new arrangement until in the evening when their friends shared the whole story.
Matron for Chinamwali Private Secondary school Rose Kamwendo confirmed to have been disturbed by teargas.
“Several students fainted as a result of the teargas police fired to disperse angry minibus and taxi drivers who were demonstrating against fuel hike and carrying capacity by government.”
Kamwendo said the students finished the two papers around 5pm at Mulunguzi while those who fainted missed the two examination papers.
The Matron also added that female students who were sitting for the examination while pregnant struggled to protect themselves in such situation.
Prisca Zinganyama is one of the female students who missed the two papers when she fainted due to teargas. She said she has been affected by the situation because she was psychologically disturbed.
She has since appealed to Malawi Police Services to always perform duties professionally by analysing situation not the way they did by throwing canisters anyhow.
In her message to government, another victim Sarafina Tchinga called for disciplinary action against all police officers who work unprofessionally.
The two girls are concerned that they will fail MSCE exams after missing the two key subjects.
When contacted, MANEB Spokesperson Mayamiko Chiwaya said the board is waiting for the centre supervisor to submit the report on the matter to MANEB on how the candidates were affected.
“We have the technical committee which also sits during awarding of marks which can consider such matters and make decisions,” said Chiwaya.
Earlier in the week, Eastern region Police Spokesperson Inspector Joseph Sauka described as very unfortunate the behaviour of police officers who took advantage of the demonstrations to beat innocent people.
Police were also blamed for firing teargas in residential areas where about five children fainted and several people got injured.