Minister of Education Agnes NyaLonje has said her ministry will look into the issue of fees for National Examinations amid concerns that some candidates will not be able to pay the fees due to challenges brought about by COVID-19 and natural disasters.
The Minister was responding to concerns raised by legislators in Parliament today.
NyaLonje noted that registration for examinations is currently underway and the process had a deadline. She, however, said she would take the concerns to Malawi National Examinations Bureau (MANEB) to look at the issue because this comes under MANEB.
“But what we commit to do is to ask MANEB to look at the issue and see if there is anything that can be done keeping in mind that the reason there are these fees is to allow for processes to be managed. The money is used for examination processes. So saying those fees will be waived just like that would create problems elsewhere, so we will look at it and we will and come back with a response,” said the Minister.
The Parliamentarians also called on the ministry to regulate examination fees especially in private schools where there are reports that students are forced to pay twice more than in public schools in order for the students to register for the exams.
NyaLonje said her Ministry will take it up with the Malawi National Examinations Board-MANEB and the inspection department within the Ministry to get to the bottom of the issue especially on the overcharging.
“If we are talking of National Examinations administered by MANEB, the fees are not different for students regardless of where they writing the examinations from. However, my Ministry will look into it to see what is exactly is going on. If the fees are varied as my honourable colleague is saying, then we have a problem. That cannot be right.”