The Malawi National Examinations Board (Maneb) has attributed the absence of cheaters during the Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) examinations to the introduction of more examinations holding centres.
The practice of cheating during examinations has marred the administration of examinations in the country, but the national examiner did not register any cheating cases during the 2015 MSCE examinations.
Maneb Board Chairperson, John Saka, said this yesterday when he courted members of the media to update them on progress made in securing national examinations. He was flanked by Maneb board members and officials.
“In contrast to the years 2000, 2007, 2012 and 2013 when we registered cases of cheating during examinations, we did not register any case in the administration of the 2014 MSCE examinations,” said Saka.
However, this year’s clean record has been dented by a single case of cheating registered during the administration of Junior Certificate of Education examinations.
Nevertheless, this year’s MSCE examinations point at a marked improvement. Official records indicate that 5, 254 MSCE candidates were apprehended for cheating during the 2002, representing 8 percent of the total number of candidates who sat examinations.
In 2003, the national examiner registered 2, 345 cases of cheating, representing 3.97 percent while 126 candidates were caught cheating in 2014, representing 0.1 percent.
Saka said misconceptions might have contributed to rising cases of cheating in the early 2000s.
“The dawn of democracy has been associated with cheating as candidates misinterpreted it as freedom to cheat to achieve their goals,” said Saka.
Saka said enhanced public participation and stakeholder awareness had contributed to the decreasing cases of cheating.
He said Maneb has made strides in securing national examinations, attributing the development to aggressiveness on part of spot checkers, swiftness on the part of examinations’ administrators in reporting malpractices, the introduction of identity cards, and the ability of examiners in singling out those who are likely to cheat.
However, the national examiner, which now uses both Malawi Police Service (MPS) and Malawi Defence Force facilities as holding centres, fell short of blaming MPS for past cheating levels.
“In the end, we should all appreciate the administration of examinations is not the exclusive responsibility of Maneb; all of us, including the media, have a role to play,” said Saka.
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