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Grade 7 exams hangs in balance

by Staff reporter
17 Jan 2014 at 04:44hrs | Views
THE prospect of Grade 7 pupils sitting for examinations this year hangs in balance after Treasury failed to allocate funds to the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council.

Government subsidises examinations fees for Grade 7 pupils while Ordinary and Advanced Level students pay for the examination.

Officials from the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education and stakeholders in the sector on Wednesday told a parliamentary portfolio committee on Education, Sport, Arts and Culture that failure to fund Zimsec would affect Grade  7 examinations. Hurungwe West MP, Temba Mliswa (Zanu-PF) chairs the committee.

"Zimsec was never granted a cent in the budget so that when it comes to administration of exams Zimsec does not have problems," said acting permanent secretary in the ministry, Mr Rodgers Sisimayi.

"We have a project in Norton of a printing press that is supposed to be completed for purposes of printing our own exam papers and limit leaks. If it is not allocated money, it will continue to be problematic."

Zimsec accountant Mr Clive Kabota said the examination board would not manage to administer Grade 7 examinations without funding.

"The bone of contention here is for Grade 7 examinations which are fully funded by Government. For 2014, we made a submission for $2,8 million.

"We got nothing. Going to 2013, Zimsec had made a submission of $2,126 million. We only got a disbursement of $350 000," said Mr Kabota.

Mr Sisimayi said his ministry was generally underfunded and this would affect its performance in all the targeted programmes.

He said out of the $1,23 billion it sought, Treasury only allocated over $865 million.

The greater chunk of the allocation goes towards employment costs.

"This is why we are saying most of our programmes will be adversely affected because most of the money goes to employment costs. In terms of curriculum development, we won’t be able to develop all the syllabuses that we want and publish them.

"We are moving toward curriculum innovation in response to the demand of the Nziramasanga report that our curriculum should be responding to the general needs of the country. But we find our efforts hamstrung because of limited allocation," said Mr Sisimayi.

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Source - herald