By Kondwani Magombo MANA

Former students of Lilongwe’s Bwaila Secondary School have bailed out 25 students at the school who could not afford to pay Malawi National Examination Board (MANEB) examination fees for the 2024 Junior Certificate of Education (JCE) and Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE).

MANEB set Sunday, December 31 as deadline for receiving JCE and MSCE examination fees for the year 2024, but 11 MSCE students and 14 JCE students at Bwaila Secondary School had not yet paid the fees by Saturday, December 30, forcing the school’s administration to send an SOS to the alumni for support.

The matter was brought to the attention of the former students through their WhatsApp platform called Bwaila Alumni Chat Group at exactly 14:15 Saturday, by the Treasurer, Innocent Njati, who shared the students’ individual details, including their individual MANEB invoice numbers.

One after another, the alumni chat group members responded by making contributions, ranging from MK6,000 to MK75,000 and, by 23:10 Saturday evening, all the 25 students had been paid for.

Publicity Secretary for Bwaila Alumni Chat Group, Nandi Mambucha, said members of her grouping felt duty-bound to respond to the call swiftly to bring happiness on the faces of the 25 stranded students who could have failed to sit for the MANEB exams.

“This is a very welcome development. It’s part of our mandate to come in whenever need arises,” explained Mambucha.

“It’s not that those members who have contributed have excess money on them, no. The need and the urgency of the matter compelled them to contribute,” she added.

The head teacher for Bwaila Secondary School, Steve Banda, could not hide his excitement and relief when contacted to confirm the development.

“I was very heartbroken when I learned from the examination committee that 25 students had not yet paid their exam fees. So I quickly referred the matter to the Alumni group because they have always been there for us,” explained the head teacher.

“Now I’m very happy and relieved to hear that the students will now be able to write their exams. The parents, too, are very appreciative of the Alumni’s swift response,” he added.

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