More than half of candidates fail MSCE exams


About 59 percent of the candidates who sat for Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) exams have failed.

Government through Ministry of Education and Malawi National Examinations Board has announced results of the 2020 MSCE exams today.

Acting MANEB Executive Director Professor Dorothy Nampota said out of 138,310 candidates who sat for the examinations, 57,293 candidates have passed representing 41.42 percent pass rate which is a drop by 9 percent compared to the previous year.

She added that out of 64,297 female students who sat for the exams, 22,270 have passed representing 34.6 percent.

There were 687 Special Needs Education (SNE) candidates during the exams and 277 have passed representing 40.3 percent. Of the SNE candidates, 359 were female candidates and 124 have passed the exams.

According to Minister of Education Agnes NyaLonje, the 2020 MSCE exams pass rate is the lowest in over a decade.

She claimed that the Covid-19 pandemic which led to closure of schools for several months last year affected students’ performance.

The exams were initially planned to be administered in June last year but were pushed to November due to the Coronavirus pandemic. In November, the exams were suspended following leakage of exam papers. At the time of the cancellation, students had already sat for some papers. The 2020 MSCE exams were successfully held in January this year.

Education activist Limbani Nsapato says government did little to prepare students psychologically following the twin problems of school closures and massive leakage.

“Going forward, for those sitting exams this year, they need to thoroughly prepare; teachers should facilitate remedial lessons to catch up on lost time; and the psychological impact of Covid-19, plus poor publicity on anti covid-19 vaccinations should be addressed before students sit for the exams,” he said.