Malawi SDNP Education in Malawi


Link for Education Governance (LEG),
P/Bag A177, Lilongwe. Tel 01923805. Fax 01771 704
Email: or
Date: Lilongwe, Thursday, June 5 2008.


Primary Schools
Secondary Schools
colleges University



A stakeholders' roundtable discussion held on 21st May 2008 at Capital City Motel in Lilongwe on Management of Examinations organized by Link for Education Governance (LEG) and attended by representatives of organizations, and public and private primary, secondary and tertiary institutions noted with concern the serious examination malpractices that have rocked the country in the recent years. Participants at the roundtable came from the following institutions: LEG, University of Malawi Bunda College, Association of Christian Educators in Malawi, Action Aid International Malawi, Country Minder for Peoples Development, Teachers Union of Malawi, Non Formal and Formal Education Initiative in Malawi, Youth Development Advancement organization, MIJ FM, CFC Radio, Capital Radio FM, Drug Fight Malawi, Blantyre News Papers Limited, Zodiac Broadcasting Station, The Gaurdian Newspaper, TVM, Radio Islam, National Publications Limited, Radio Maria Malawi, Deeper Life Ministry, Kauma Primary School, Likuni Private Secondary School, and St John's Secondary School.


LEG and participants that attended the roundtable discussion noted with concern the following:-

  1. Examination malpractices such as cheating, leakage, plagiarism, impersonation, and others have been on the rise in the recent past in the administration of public examination like Primary School Leaving Certificate of Education (PSLCE), Junior Certificate of Education (JCE), Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE), diplomas and degrees and main actors include students, teachers, tutors, administrators and parents;
  2. That some of the causes of exam malpractices include weakened policy and legal framework (such as lack policy and outdated Education Act), poor financing of examination administration, negligence by administrators, laziness by teachers and learners, shortage of jobs, lack of awareness on dangers of malpractices, and general moral degradation;
  3. That the 2007 widespread leakage of MSCE Examination degraded both the public trust on management of examinations as well as the credibility of the Certificate that students that sat for the exam earned;
  4. That the government, in particular Malawi National Examinations Board (MANEB) and Ministry of Education Science and Technology (MOEST), has been silent on the results of the Commission of Inquiry which was said to have been set up by the President to probe the root causes of the 2007 MSCE Exams leakage, and that instead of acknowledging inefficiencies in the conduct of the exam government blamed the media and civil society for exposing and condemning the deplorable leakage;
  5. That unless government comes up with tight measures, the 2008 public examination (MSCE, JCE, PSLCE and others) stand susceptible to malpractice and loss the public confidence.
  6. That despite being made aware of and confirming to attend the roundtable discussion, officials from Ministry of Education failed to turn up for the meeting where participants despite coming up with practical solutions to improve exam management, were denied access to some information on the causes of the mismanagement.

Call to Action

Stakeholders at the roundtable discussion made the following recommendations:

  1. Government through MOEST and MANEB should come out in the open to outline mitigative measures against exam malpractices to ensure proper conduct of the 2008 public examinations particularly MSCE to avoid a repetition of leakage, cheating and other malpractices.
  2. Some recommended measures to deal with exam malpractices include:
    1. Reviewing public policies and legal framework to include polices and strategies for addressing exam malpractices;
    2. Increased funding for MANEB to strengthen the capacity to ensure secure printing of examinations, training of invigilators, fair remuneration for staff involved in managing exams including support staff such as graphic designers, clerks, drivers, and guards.
    3. Raising awareness to the general public on the dangers of exam malpractices and the need to report all malpractices;
    4. Motivating teachers and learners to work hard and prepare fully for examinations;
    5. Constructing more secondary schools and colleges and expanding existing infrastructure in schools to increase intake, and
    6. Creating more jobs for school leavers and promoting technical and vocational training.
  3. Government should immediately release the report on the commission of inquiry which was said to have been instituted to establish the findings on the root causes of the widespread 2007 MSCE leakage. Failure to do so undermines the public trust on the purpose of the inquiry and those responsible for managing public examinations.
  4. Government should develop a positive attitude towards the media and civil society as partners in development and work together towards ensuring quality of access to education and proper conduct of public examinations. In this regard, government should stop shunning stakeholders meetings especially those organized by civil society and the private sector that aim at reviewing implementation of public policies for the benefit of the country.
  5. Civil society, the media and the private sector should support government efforts of ensuring proper conduct of examinations by reporting and exposing malpractices, and sensitizing students, teachers and the general public on the root causes and consequences of exam malpractices.
Signed by
Limbani Nsapato             Mathiuz Mkandawire
Executive Director Board Chairperson
Cell: 08743643 Cell: 08504 149

Appeared in Nation of 9 June 2008


(c) 2008 Malawi SDNP