Malawi cancels secondary school exams after papers leaked
RUSTENBURG - Secondary school examinations in Malawi have been cancelled after several question papers were leaked, Education Minister Agnes Nyalonje said on Wednesday.
Speaking at a media briefing in Lilongwe, she said the new exams were planned for March 9 next year.
The fresh exams are expected to cost the government about 4.5 billion kwacha (about US$5.8 million)
She said given the findings of their investigations, the government was left with no choice but to cancel the examinations.
The decision to cancel exams followed an emergency meeting between the Ministry of Education and the Malawi National Examinations Board.
This was after several theory papers were leaked and went viral on social media platforms.
According to news website Malawi24, English, biology and history papers that flooded social media platforms turned out to be the exact copies of the exams the Malawi National Examinations Board had set.
Maths and chemistry papers scheduled for Wednesday circulated on social media on Tuesday, forcing the examinations board to call an emergency meeting where a decision was taken to cancel this year’s examinations.
The executive director of the Malawi National Examinations Board, Gerald Chiunda, told journalists that it was suspected that the leakage happened at the examinations board and there was a need to probe the matter thoroughly.
The exams started last week with practical papers and this week theory exams resumed.
Exams were initially scheduled to be held in June this year but were delayed due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Privately owned radio station Zodiak Broadcasting Station reported that about 38 learners were arrested in Kasungu, central Malawi, on Tuesday, after they were allegedly found in possession of leaked electronic exam papers. They were later released on bail.