Thursday, 29 March 2018

MUTARE PARENTS FIGHT ZIMSEC

Fretful parents and guardians of 47 students from Mutare Boys High whose November 2017 O-Level examination results were withheld by the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) for cheating continue to ratchet up pressure for the examination body to release them.

It is believed that the representatives of the affected parents have continued engaging the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to push for their cause.

In essence, they feel that given the precedence that was set by the High Court earlier this year when it nullified results for English Paper 2 only, Zimsec should only withhold results for the subject in contention — History Paper 2 — so that their children wouldn’t be grossly prejudiced.

However, Zimsec, which claims that the law makes it mandatory to withhold all the examination results, insists that its position will not change.


“We want our children to get their results the same way others got theirs. The information that we got was that more children accessed the paper. The school head, however, suspiciously came up with this list of 47 students.

“Be that as it may, we feel that they should only withhold results for the affected subject. If they do not release the results for the other subjects, are they saying all the papers leaked as well? This is very unfair. What will our children do? It means they will have to sit again for all the exams, which will come at an extra cost to us,” said one of the parents’ representatives, who elected to remain anonymous for fear of victimisation.

Primary and Secondary Education Minister Professor Paul Mavima, however, indicated that the parents had not yet engaged his ministry on the matter.

“As far as I am concerned, no parent has engaged my ministry. Issues that govern examination regulations fall under the purview of Zimsec,” he said.

But the parents have audio recordings of some of the meetings they had with Government officials, who promised to look into the matter.

Zimsec public relations manager Ms Nicky Dhlamini said in the case of the 47 students from Mutare Boys ‘High, Zimsec regulations and Act prescribe “the withholding of all examination results for the candidates implicated”.

“There are, indeed, examination results for 47 students from Mutare Boys’ High, which were withheld. This was a case of premature access to the examination question paper; that is to say, they had full sight of the examination paper before the date of the examination,” said Ms Dhlamini.

“The Zimsec Regulations and Act clearly states the different penalties and verdicts for the various malpractice cases. In this case, the penalty is the withholding of all examination results for the candidates implicated.

“Zimsec does not under any circumstances act upon hearsay. We have a team, which does thorough investigations and makes reports after which verdicts are made. In this case, evidence was produced 
and this is how the verdict was made.”

Zimsec’s credibility has been taking a hit owing to widespread leakages and cheating.
Government says it is considering using technological solutions to eliminate exam leakages. herald

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