2020 MSCE low pass rate not a surprise - Education activists

Education experts in the country say the 41.42% Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) pass rate is not a surprise considering how things have been in the education sector.

Ministry of Education Science and Technology in collaboration with Malawi 1 Examination Board (Maneb) released 2020 MSCE examination results Thursday evening.

Speaking when she announced the results in Lilongwe, Minister of Education Agnes NyaLonje blamed Covid-19 pandemic for the lowest pass rate the country has registered in over a decade.

NyaLonje : Covid-19 and leakage have a direct impact on the results

NyaLonje however said it was first time that her Ministry administered a cheat and leakage free examination.

“As a Ministry, we put a blame on Covid-19 pandemic and the leakages of the first administered examinations as the major two factors to these poor results. We were in a tough situation when schools were closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this is what has affected the results a lot,” said NyaLonje.

She continued to say that lack of schooling materials, insufficient of science laboratories and libraries and shortage of teachers to be among other additional contributing factors affecting the pass rate in the 1 examinations.

In his comment, one of the county's Education Activist Dr. Steve Shara agreed with NyaLonje saying the results are not surprising considering the Covid-19 pandemic which on two occasions led to closure of schools.

Shara : The results are what we expected

“There is nothing much to wonder for the poor results just as to what we have experienced in the last 12 months. As you can remember, last year schools were closed for six months due to Covid-19 pandemic. Then the 2020 examinations were cancelled due to massive leakages and cheating. This affected students especially from schools which could not offer continuity of teaching and learning,” commented Shara.

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 examinations, 22,270 have passed representing 34.6 percent.

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