By Ellen Pindani, Jarson Malowa, Feston Malekezo & Gary Samati:
After a five-year absence, Junior Certificate of Education (JCE) examinations are officially back.
Candidates started sitting the examinations in all parts of the country Tuesday, when Covid personal protective equipment use became part of examinations’ administration protocol.
The only hitch to an otherwise good day was registered at Kawira CCAP cluster centre in Lilongwe, where candidates were denied access into examination rooms.
Lilongwe Police Station spokesperson Foster Benjamin confirmed the development, saying candidates from Chitedze and Ulemu wa Atate secondary schools were denied access to the examination centre.
He attributed the development to “communication breakdown”, adding that the candidates were later allowed to sit examinations.
Bwaila Secondary School Head teacher Steven Banda said he was happy with the way the examinations had started.
“The examinations have started on a good note, with no challenge registered so far,” he said.
In the old capital, Zomba, examinations administration started on a good note.
The Daily Times visited Malindi, Likangala and Police secondary schools.
At Police Secondary School, there was no problem, with each candidate wearing a Malawi National Examinations Board identity card, according to examinations supervisor Lackson Chatha.
“We received all the materials on time. All the candidates that registered as candidates came to sit examinations,” he said.
This was also the case at Malindi Secondary School
However, at Likangala Secondary School, Examinations Supervisor Joseph Bisika bemoaned the absence of some candidates.
“Ten candidates have not turned up,” he said.
In Blantyre City and Blantyre District, everything went well on the first day of examinations administration.
The supervisor overseeing administration of the examinations at Chichiri Secondary School, Prescot Khama, who is a teacher at Ndirande Secondary School, said there were no challenges.
“We have started on a very good note. So far, there are no challenges because candidates seem to have been waiting for the examinations,” he said.
In the Northern Region, the first day of examinations went smoothly, with Deputy Minister of Education Madalitso Kambauwo Wirima on the road, inspecting administration of examinations at such centres as Ezondweni Community Day Secondary School.
She told The Daily Times that examinations started on a good note.
“I am impressed with the way the examinations are being administered,” Kambauwo Wirima said.
JCE examinations were last administered in 2016.
Former President Peter Mutharika approved recommendations by stakeholders in the Public Service Reform Programme to abolish JCE. The government was expected to save K2 billion for abolishing the examinations.