Minister impressed with examination administration

Salima, September 9, Mana. Minister of Education, Agnes NyaLonje has said she is impressed with the way Primary School Leaving Certificate (PSLC) examinations are being administered in the country amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking during a monitoring visit to some centres in Salima on Wednesday, she said it was pleasing to note that examinations started very well in the six centres she visited in the district.

The Minister said the Ministry was happy to note that there was high turn-up of learners sitting for the 2021 PSLC exams.

“My overall impression is that these examinations have started very well. So far the turn up has been very good though there are a few learners that are absent but they are not that many,” she said.

NyaLonje said it was pleasing to note that compliance of COVID-19 preventive measures in the schools visited was very good, a development described as good move towards protection of the standard 8 learners who are sitting for the examinations. 

“I am impressed to see that the examinations are being administered. On social distancing and observance of COVID-19 prevention measures, that too has been very pleasing in all the centres that we visited. All learners are in masks and hand washing is also being observed,” she added.

The Minister congratulated Malawi 1 Examination Board (MANEB) for laying out good strategies of administering the examinations by ensuring that centres have adequate invigilators and enough rooms to allow learners to observe social distance.

NyaLonje visiting an examination centre in Salima

“Of course there are challenges here and there that they are encountering like some infrastructures not having enough light for the learners to see properly. In one of the schools, we found some learners seated which to me is not a health development to see learners writing with papers on their knees,” NyaLonje said.

She has since advised schools with broken desks to make sure that they fix them with the School Improvement Grant (SIG).

At Pothawira centre where the Minister had a chance to visit learners with special needs, she said the Ministry has put on measures to ensure that they are also included. 

“It is good that we visited them and found out that one learner was given a wrong grade of braille but was later rectified. But all in all the challenges were noted and we are going to do something like giving a learner with special needs customized attention not only during exams but all the times they are at school,” the Minister said.

Primary Education Advisor (PEA) for Kaphatenga, Thomas Ngwira Zone said the examinations started very well with no cases encountered as of the first day. 

He said the education sector would make sure that they respond to the Minister’s call to have broken desks fixed with the School Improvement Grant (SIG).

One of the learners at Katelera School, Doreen Levison said she was happy as one of the candidates to have finally sat for the examinations which she said was going on well.

Levison said she was hopeful that the examinations would continue being administered the way it has started without many challenges.

A total of 281,329 learners are sitting for the 2021 PSLC examinations according to the MANEB.

The Minister visited Makande, Salima Secondary School, Pothawira, Kapiri, Katelera and Ngolowindo centres in the district during the monitoring tour.