Minister of General Education David Mabumba says government wants to change the laws governing examinations in Zambia by introducing fast track courts that will help with examination malpractices.

He was was responding to a question in Parliament, Friday, from Serenje MMD member of parliament, Maxwell Kabanda who asked what government was doing to arrest examination malpractices in the country.

“I just want to find out why exam malpractices have continued to rise and eroding the quality of education in this country? Exactly what are we doing to arrest this situation?” he asked.

In response, Mabumba appealed to the MPs to join ECZ and his ministry in trying to protect the integrity of exams.

“The issue of examination malpractice is an issue that sits within the community where we live all of us. The best people to police the exams is we the Zambian people because at the end of the day, like my colleague said, if you have a number of examination malpractices, it only erodes the quality of education. And I want to appeal to you honourable colleagues in the constituencies where you come from, all of us receive information about examination malpractices, please join the Examination Council of Zambia, the Ministry of Education, to try and protect the integrity of our exams,” he said.

And Mabumba said his ministry was not sitting idle adding that government wanted to ensure that laws governing exams were changed by introducing fast track courts to deal with examination malpractices.

“However, we ourselves are not sitting just to allow examination malpractices to continue. When you look at the 500+ cases for the GCE, many of those were detected and the candidates who were involved in those malpractices, their results will be revoked. Further, we also want to ensure that we change the legislation governing the examinations in this country,” he said.

“And one of the things that we will be bringing there is the punitive measure, as well as our collaboration with the judiciary in terms of fast track courts. Because what is happening is that you will find people who are involved in examination malpractice, sometimes it takes long to be prosecuted. But once we change the law and we go into partnership with the judiciary, we will introduce fast track courts to try and help these examination malpractices.”

Kabwe Central PF member of parliament Tutwa Ngulube then asked whether the suspension of the ministry’s PS Henry Tukombe, as well as suspension of donor funds would have any impact on issues of examinations.

“I want to wish the honourable minister of education sincere condolences for loosing a PS on suspension. I want to find out from you whether the suspension of your PS and the suspension of aid, relating to donor monies will have any impact on the issue of these examinations. We are aware that if we were to follow on set, probably we would find that your ministry has been accused of sitting idly and allowing a lot of examination malpractices including teachers writing exams for pupils and nothing happens. Yet today you are saying ‘you want to change the law’ do we really need to change the law in order for your ministry to come out so strongly on teachers who are writing exams for pupils?” he asked.

In response Mabumba said government wanted to strengthen the legislation so that they could strengthen the punitive measures in that particular law.

“For the information of my colleague, not even withstanding the changes in the legislation, for 2017 a number of teachers were dismissed and the ministry will continue to do that. But what I’m just saying is that we want to strengthen the legislation so that we can strengthen the punitive measures in that particular law.

And on Ngulube’s first question regarding withdrawal of donor aid, Mabumba said Finance Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe had already given an elaborate statement on the floor of the House hence he didn’t want to say anything further.