Malawi Holds School-leaving Exams Two Months after Cancellation over Leaks

Malawi’s Ministry of Education is holding the School Certificate of Education examinations two months after they were cancelled over paper leakages.

News Central reports that the Malawi National Examinations Board (MANEB) had cancelled the 2020 final secondary school-leaving examinations after a number of test papers were circulated on social media.

The cancellation, which affected the future of more than 154,000 pupils, had led to protests in many parts of the East African country.

The leaked papers included English Paper 2, Geography Paper 2, Biology Paper 2, Chemistry Paper 2 and Mathematics examination papers.

Students were initially scheduled to sit the Malawi School Certificate of Education exam in June but schools were closed in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

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Students then started sitting the tests, which are the final exams before going to university, in October and were due to finish before the end of November.

But the education minister ordered the exams’ cancellation on 5 November following reports of papers being leaked.

Education Minister Agnes Nyalonje said at the time that the exam would be re-administered in March, but this was reversed by Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera, who ordered that the head of the body responsible for administration of examinations be sacked and that the exam be re-administered no later than January.

It is still not known who leaked the exams and how. The authorities say they are still investigating.

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The effect will be felt by the students – those sitting the exams this week will have to wait a whole year before they can start university.

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