The Ministry of Education earlier this year gave a directive that primary school learners should be writing their end-of-term examinations as administered on chalkboards and not on printed papers. The policy shift was caused by some parents who complained that they were paying a lot of money in examination fees meant for printing the papers.
However, the Mzuzu Diocese Education Commission of the Catholic Church has branded as ‘retrogressive’ government’s directive that primary school examinations for both junior and senior sections should be administered on the said chalkboards instead of on printable papers, saying this would negatively affect learners’ performance.
Diocesan Education Coordinator, Isaac Ziba said with the current setup learners will find it hard to answer questions during national examinations because it will be a new concept to them.
On social media, the revelation has also caused an uproar with many agreeing with the Diocese that the edict is indeed retrogressive.
“Education in primary schools is already free. The said examination fees are paid once every three months for the printing of the papers. It’s a weak excuse for parents who want their children to do well in school to say they can’t generate enough money for them to write examinations on printed sheets,” Leston Phiri remarked.
“This is lowering the standards. The fact that we were writing our exams on chalkboards does not mean our children should go through the same ordeal. This is the year 2022, not the 1990s. Let’s embrace the changes. Let’s not be backward” said Phillip Mtimuni.