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O and A Level June examinations ready

by Staff reporter
19 May 2020 at 07:38hrs | Views
TIE Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (Zimsec) yesterday told Parliament that examination papers and other logistics were ready with around 66 000 students expected to sit for 'O' and 'A' Level June examinations whose dates are yet to be released.

Zimsec director Lazarus Nembaware and his top officials who appeared before the Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga-led Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Primary and Secondary Education yesterday said candidates, who registered for examinations, but failed to pay would write and pay later. "The reasons may be the rise in fees from $15 to $100 for school candidates and $190 for those out of school.

The COVID-19 also played its part in the sense that we started to scale down operations. There are others that failed to register for June and November exams on the online plat-forms and we said whenever the lockdown is eased we will open the window for them to reg-ister for November so that those disadvantaged by COVID-19 can write exams," Nembaware said.

The officials said the Primary and Secondary Education, Higher and Tertiary Education and Health ministries were preparing logistics to en-sure the examinations would be administered in a safe environment. The examinations were scheduled to begin on May 26, but the COVID-19, lockdown forced their postponement.

"In the wake of COVID-19 Zimsec has been putting in place business continuity strategies to ensure production and processing of exams, but we were waiting for the government directive to deploy exams to schools, which is dependent on opening of schools," Nembaware said.

"We are waiting for the exact date when ex-ams will start and we will be in a position to re-structure the timetable!."

Nembaware said there were 821 centres for'O' Level and 60 910 candidates, and 175 for 'A' Lev-el with 5 769 candidates registered for June examinations.

The statistics reveal a drop in 2020 numbers for '0' Level candidates by 15 000 compared to 2019's 75 000 candidates and 5 900 for 'A' Level compared to 5 700 this year. In November, more than half a million candidates are expected to sit for Grade 7, '0' and 'A' Level examinations.

On whether Zimsec would provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to candidates, Nembaware said Zimsec's role was to provide question papers to candidates "from thereon it is the Primary and Secondary Education ministry which has obligation. It means the ministry has to have physical infrastructure for classrooms to be used and PPEs for students must be provided by schools!' But he said invigilators, examination markers and Zimsec staff would be taken care of, adding that all centres would be sanitised. On the security of examination papers, the Zimsec boss said some question papers would be kept by schools under tight security, but where there is suspicion of breach of security the schools would have to pick up examination papers every morning.

"Marking will be done in an environment compliant with SI 29 of 2020 in regions. What that means is that where a greater number of examiners comes from one region, then we will use that region as a venue. So English Paper One can be marked in the Midlands province, but English Paper Two can be marked in Matabele-land North so that fewer people travel," he said.

On the candidates sitting for examinations after disruption in learning, Nembaware said most students writing June examinations were either supplementing or those that believed were bright enough to write earlier.

Source - newsday

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