Look beyond Maneb boss suspension—analyst
Civil Society Education Coalition (CSEC) Executive Director Benedicto Kondowe has asked the government to look beyond the suspension of Malawi National Examinations Board (Maneb) boss Gerald Chiunda and gauge whether the institution can manage to administer examinations.
Maneb suspended Chiunda a week after the government and Maneb cancelled the 2020 Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) examinations amid reports of massive leakage.
However, Kondowe said stakeholders should look beyond one man and examine the whole system.
“An institution operates as a system and not a one man operation. So, one would hope that, even in the absence of the executive director, Maneb can be able to prepare and administer fresh examinations,” Kondowe said.
MSCE examinations were cancelled during the first week of writing theory papers.
According to a letter which Maneb Board Chairperson Edith Mmela has signed, investigations into the matter revealed negligence.
“The board considered the preliminary investigations report and found that there was evidence of gross negligence in the efficient and effective management and conduct of the MSCE examinations by the board generally and specifically with respect to the duties of your office,” reads the letter in part.
The later further indicates that the board found serious violations and probable commission of offences, as stipulated in the Malawi National Examinations Board Act.
The board has since advised Chiunda that, upon conclusion of investigations, he would be given the opportunity to be heard on the matter.
Speaking in an interview, Chiunda acknowledged receipt of the letter.
He said he would comply with the board’s decisions.
“I would not say anything because I have been suspended by my employers. I will wait until they want to hear from me,” Chiunda said.
After the leaking of the examinations, President Lazarus Chakwera ordered that action be taken on Maneb top management before the end of this month.
Chakwera further ordered that examinations should be re-administered before the end of January, rather than in March as recommended by Education Minister Agnes NyaLonje.
Justin Mkweu is a fast growing reporter who currently works with Times Group on the business desk.
He is however flexible as he also writes about current affairs and national issues.