By Auxilia Katongomara
The Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council has extended the November Ordinary and Advanced level public examinations registration deadline from March 30 to April 21.
The extension follows an outcry over the March 30 initial deadline. Last week, some parents told The Chronicle that schools had told them about the closing date about two weeks before the cut-off date, hence it would be difficult for them to mobilise the required money.
Although the Zimsec deadline was March 30, most examination centres and schools set between March 17 and March 28 as their own deadlines for registration.
The centres said this was aimed at preventing parents from making last minute payments.
Each O-Level subject costs $15 and $26 is needed per A-Level subject for one to write the November public examinations.
According to a circular dated March 16 from Zimsec addressed to the Permanent Secretary of Primary and Secondary Education, Sylvia Utete-Masango and other education officials, the examinations body said it was extending the registration period although no reasons were given.
“Zimsec would like to advise all Examination Centres that registration for the 2017 Ordinary and Advanced Level Examinations has been extended to 21 April 2017. Centres should use this extension to verify and clean up their Entries Data paying particular attention to the accuracy of candidates’ names, dates of birth, subjects and their options as well as entries for candidates with special needs,” reads the circular.
The circular however, states that the May 26 deadline for amendments and late entries remains unchanged.
Zimsec Public Relations Manager Mrs Nicky Dhlamini confirmed the extension and said they would be issuing a statement in due course.
Mrs Dhlamini said the April 21 deadline was for examination centres and each centre has a right to set its own deadline for administrative purposes.
The extension of the deadline came after parents in Bulawayo expressed concern over the limited time they were given to pay for the November public examinations.
They claimed there was no adequate time to raise the required fees considering the prevailing economic situation.
A headmistress who spoke to The Chronicle earlier this week said schools tightened their deadlines as most parents and guardians are used to last minute rushes.
Zimsec has said examination fees are payable in instalments for Grade Seven, Ordinary Level and Advanced Level examinations starting from Grade Six, Form Three and Form Five.
Most parents professed ignorance over Zimsec’s two-year payment plan for examinations. The Chronicle