52 percent pass MSCE

Benedicto Kondowe

Education Minister Agnes NyaLonje has described the 51.9 percent Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) examinations pass rate as the most improved in the past three years.

Malawi National Examinations Board (Maneb) released MSCE results for 2021 yesterday, indicating that, out of 123,008 candidates that sat examinations, 63,949 have passed, representing a 51.9 percent pass rate.

According to Maneb, this rate is 10 percent higher than in 2020, when 41.2 percent of candidates passed.


NyaLonje said, despite facing challenges such as Covid, officials in the education sector were working hard to improve standards of education in the country.

“This demonstrates improvement. We will make sure that we maintain the trend. The ministry will analyse the situation and learn from divisions that have done better,” she said

NyaLonje, however, said the pass rate indicated that many young people had not performed as expected, indicating that the ministry would refocus and examine everything with the aim of improving the pass rate.


Zomba Urban tops the list of districts that have perfumed well, followed by Dowa, Phalombe, Mzuzu, Dedza, Ntchisi and Mulanje.

Maneb Executive Director Dorothy Nampota said 14 schools had registered a 100 percent pass rate while six had registered zero percent.

The board also said 115 special needs candidates have passed out of 262 candidates.

The board last year administered two sets of MSCE examinations, with the first set in January and the last in October.

Candidates sat January 2021 examinations after the government ordered re-administration following massive leakage.

However, Nampota said the re-administered examinations were leakage-free, lauding improved collaboration among stakeholders.

Civil Society Education Coalition Chairperson Benedicto Kondowe said there was a need to conduct an in-depth analysis of candidates’ performance based on subject.

“What we have is an overall pass rate. We need to understand what the pass rate was for each subject. We may realise that, in subjects where candidates did not do well, Maneb reduced the pass rate.

“As such, when a number of subjects had a reduced pass rate, then the overall [pass rate] does not represent the true performance of candidates,” he said.

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