Member of Parliament for Chiradzulu South Joseph Mwanamvekha has asked the Government of Malawi through the Ministry of Education to remove examinations fees for students in rural areas, saying many parents are failing to pay the fees due to high levels of poverty.
Mwanamvekha said this in Parliament on Friday when he asked the Ministry of education on what the ministry is doing to address the challenges concerning examinations fees.
Speaking to Malawi24, Mwanamvekha said government should remove the fees because it is very difficult for the parents to pay the fees due to covid-19 which has affected a lot of people especially those in rural areas and also the recent floods caused by cyclone ANA.
“What I want as DPP Spokesperson on Finance and also as a Member of Parliament is that the Ministry of Education should remove the fees more especially on students from rural areas. They should remove the fees as of now and then it can be looked again maybe in the subsequent years depending on the situation that will prevail then,” said Mwanamvekha.
He argued that there are students who learn in community day secondary school (CDSS) where school fees is only 7000 Kwacha but are required to pay about 30,000 kwacha for exams which they are failing to do since the amount is huge.
Mwanamvekha also noted that if nothing is done now, it means most of students may not sit for national exams, some may drop out and it will be a disaster to the education sector.
In her response on the removal of examination fees, Minister of Education Hon. Agnes NyaLonje noted that registration for examinations is underway and it is a time limited process such that should the issue raised happen to affect a lot of learners.
“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 NyaLonje.