Coalition revives calls for free primary school exams

Coalition revives calls for free primary school exams

Civil Society Education Coalition (Csec) has revived calls to scrap identity card (ID) processing fees for Primary School Leaving Certificate of Education (PSLCE) examinations candidates in view of increased allocation to Maneb.

In the proposed K6 trillion 2024/25 National Budget, the allocation to Malawi National Examinations Board (Maneb) has been increased from K7 billion to K12 billion.

Csec executive director Benedicto Kondowe in an interview said an increase of K5 billion in the Maneb allocation should be enough to manage examinations without burdening primary school learners to pay K3 500 each for processing of IDs.

He said the increase in the budget should also aid learners that cannot pay the Junior Certificate of Education (JCE) and Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) examination fees, adding if the money is not enough due to devaluations, government should allocate more resources.

Kondowe: It defeats the whole purpose

Said Kondowe: “Asking learners to pay the fee defeats the whole purpose of free primary education.”

He said there is a global commitment that free education must be extended up to JCE level and Malawi should be seen to be doing something about it.

In a separate interview, Ministry of Education spokesperson Mphatso Nkuonera said the ministry has not received any formal request or communication about scrapping the ID processing fee or examination fee.

Parliamentary Committee on Education chairperson Brainax Kaise said the committee was in support of the proposal to remove the PSLCE  ID processing fee, saying it only burdens learners.

In December last year, it emerged that 29 817 candidates for PSLCE, JCE and MSCE examinations failed to pay ID processing fee and examination fees by the closing date of December 31 2023. Maneb was forced to extend the period to January 12 2024 to enable more learners pay the fees.

The post Coalition revives calls for free primary school exams first appeared on The Nation Online.

The post Coalition revives calls for free primary school exams appeared first on The Nation Online.