Four students collapse after police teargas

Four students who were sitting for Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) examinations collapsed on Tuesday after police fired teargas canisters into Chinamwali Girls Secondary School premises in Zomba City during minibus and taxi driver’s protests.

The teargas canisters were fired while students were sitting for a mathematics paper thereby causing a commotion.

When YFM visited the scene, only a police officer, examination invigilators and few candidates were seen loitering around the premises.

One of the affected candidates, Jimmy Nkumazinja, expressed shock over the development.

The incident followed running battles between minibus operators and police officers who were trying to disperse demonstrators who barricaded the road to force government to either revise down fuel prices or increase minibus passenger capacity from the current two per seat to three.

In an interview with YFM on Tuesday, education expert Benedicto Kondowe condemned the behavior displayed by the police saying the development will have a negative impact on the examination process.

Kondowe said: “It’s very unfortunate because where examinations have been disrupted, they lose credibility and the situation is difficult to reverse.”

He further questioned the conduct of the law enforcers saying they were supposed to know that places like schools need special security measures more especially this time as the examinations are in progress.

Malawi National Examinations Board (Maneb) spokesperson, Mayamiko Chiwaya declined to comment on the matter saying she was not in the office and had no information on the matter.

Maneb is currently re-administering MSCE examinations which were cancelled on November 4, 2020 following widespread leakage of some papers.

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