All girls fail MSCE exams at Chitheka CDSS in Nkhatabay


All girls who sat for the Malawi Schools Certificate of Education (MSCE) exams at Chitheka Community Day Secondary School in Nkhatabay have failed.

A list of results in possession of this reporter shows that only two internal and one external candidate, out of forty, have thrived in the exams at the school.

In interviews, the students who have not made it attributed their failure to lack of learning materials and understaffing at their school.

One of the learners who pleaded for anonymity confided in this reporter that out of the three teachers manning the school, no-one teaches science subjects.

According to the 21-year-old student, a girl, they were not learning some subjects, especially sciences and English, hence their poor performance.

“I saw it coming. The papers were too hard for me,” she said.

“Much of it resulted from inadequate resources and teachers. We were not learning most subjects including English.”

Authorities at the school declined to comment on the matter but only referred our reporter to senior education managers in the district for an official comment.

Nonetheless, one of the school management committee members, Alson Chima blamed the situation at the said school to lack of government commitment in developing the area.

Chirwa disclosed that most of the teachers at the school are not qualified and are only teaching on voluntarily basis.

“The only qualified ones are those who came from primary school. We had to source them from there to at least bring some sanity thereat,” he said.

Previous records show that the school, which is about 50KM from Mzuzu city, has, since its inception in 1994, never produced any student scoring below an aggregate of 20 points in the best six subjects.

The school which carter for students from about 12 primary schools in the area has no adequate facilities to support teaching and learning.

Senior education authorities in Nkhatabay could not immediately be drawn to comment on the issue due to telecommunication hitches.

Nevertheless, this publication can independently validate that, Chitheka is one of the communities in Nkhatabay where early marriages among girls are rampant.

A snap survey conducted in the area shows that most girls were made mothers before attaining the age of as less as 16.

This, according to local authorities, is fueled by lack of education motivation to learners.

Village headman Muyangala of the area disclosed that most girls loose interest in school due to longer distances and lack of adequate facilities in schools.

Our reporter followed up the issue with member of parliament for the area, Chrispine Chanju Mphande, whose phone went unanswered countless times.

This year’s MSCE exams have been described as the worst in over a decade as about 60% of students who sat for them have failed.