Government promises to punish PSLCE exam fee fraudsters
The government has sworn to exhaust all legal processes to ensure that those who swindled examination fees from some learners during this year’s Primary School Leaving Certificate of Education (PSLCE) examinations are punished.
Deputy Minister of Education Nancy Chaola Mdooko sounded the warning at the end of the examinations on Friday.
Chaola Mdooko’s warning comes after 52 primary school learners from Mangochi failed to sit this year’s PSLCE examinations after their schools’ proprietors failed to remit over K300, 000 in examination fees to the Malawi National Examinations Board (Maneb).
Police in Mangochi arrested two officials, 51-year old Timothy Maputu, a former Director of Sunrise Private Primary School and Paul Kumwenda, a 44-year-old Headteacher at Fatima Private Primary School on allegations that they swindled the children of their examination fees.
It is alleged that Maputu collected a total of K250, 000 from 30 candidates in December 2022, but later sold the school to another individual in January 2023 due to financial difficulties.
Similarly, Kumwenda collected K120, 000 in examination fees from 22 candidates.
On May 9, 2023 directors of both schools discovered that the suspects had failed to remit the collected funds to Malawi National Examinations Board.
In a statement at the end of the examinations, Mdooko expressed disappointment with the development, saying the law will take its course on the matter.
“Allow me to express my disappointment that some candidates failed to sit for the examinations due to some selfish proprietors of private schools and teachers in public schools who misappropriated their examination fee. This is unacceptable.
“Let the general public know that the law will take its course and my ministry will take those schools and teachers to task,” Mdooko said.
She the reminded parents that payment of examination fees is no longer being done by schools.
“With e-registration and e-payment systems, the schools only print out invoices but it the responsibility of parents to pay the fees using online platforms such as Mpamba and Airtel Money to Maneb,” Mdooko said.
A total of 276, 052 candidates sat this year’s PSLCE examinations, according to a statement Maneb released, ahead of the examinations.
Eric Msikiti is a Senior Reporter/News Producer at Times Group. Though relatively young, Eric boasts years of experience in Malawi’s media industry.