By Grace Kapatuka (MANNA)

Deputy Minister of Education Madalitso Kambauwa-Wirima said she was impressed with the way primary school leaving certificate (PSLC) exams are being administered in the country amidst the COVID 19 pandemic.

Speaking during a monitoring visit to some centres in Salima and Nkhotakota on Wednesday, Wirima said it was pleasing to note that exams started very well in the centres she visited.

She said the ministry is happy to note that there is high compliance of COVID 19 preventive measures in the schools of the two districts she visited, a development she described as a good move towards protection of the standard 8 learners who are sitting for the PSLC exams.

“I am impressed to see that the exams are being administered. Our aim of the monitoring visit was to see how schools are complying with the pandemic’s preventive measures,” she said.

She added: “As you know that we are in difficult times where we have the virus amidst us, what is pleasing is that all the learners were putting on masks and there were hand washing facilities everywhere we visited.”

The deputy minister congratulated MANEB for laying out good strategies of administering the exams by ensuring that centres have adequate invigilators and enough rooms for exams which she said allowed learners to observe social distance.

“Of course there are challenges that they are encountering like some infrastructures not having enough light for the learners to see properly,” she said.

Wirima said they needed classrooms or halls that are well ventilated and allow enough light to come in but all in all they are happy that learners sat for their exams after a long covid 19 break.

She urged learners that fell pregnant to go back to schools after delivering saying they still have a chance to get educated.

Chiyembekezo Mwafulirwa, a centre supervisor at Lozi secondary school centre in Nkhotakota said their main worry was that some learners failed to turn up for the exams because they were either married or fell pregnant.

“We have four schools clustered here at Lozi with a total number of 269 learners but only 240 turned up for the exams and 29 did not come because they got married or fell pregnant during the long holiday,” he said.

He said the development is worrisome considering that the future of the absent learners is halted.

“They tried their best from lower classes to this far, and when the exams they waited for all this time are here, the learners failed to show up because of the challenges mentioned. This is very worrisome considering that their future is now doomed,” said Mwafulirwa.

Mercy Zimba, a candidate at Thavite Centre said she was happy that exams are finally here.

“The holiday was too long. I even lost hope that we are going to sit for it. I started getting worried as to what is going to happen with us as learners who were disturbed just before we sat for the exams,” she said.

The Minister visited Lozi and Nkhotakota LEA centres in Nkhotakota, Thavite and Salima secondary school centres in Salima during the monitoring tour.

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