By Abigail Mawonde
Parents and stakeholders in the education sector yesterday described the decision by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to nullify the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council Ordinary Level English Paper II results as a huge drawback.
They said the decision has traumatised pupils and urged Government through Zimsec to tighten security and ensure that examination papers do not leak as it was fast becoming a tradition. The English Language Paper II results were nullified following widespread cheating.
“This is a huge drawback. Why did it take Zimsec or the ministry so long to make the decision of having a rewrite? Do they know the trauma they cause on the pupils, who were now looking forward to getting their results and furthering their studies afterwards?
“This is very unfair. I hope they will apply adjustment policies on the marking this paper because others had since forgotten about the concepts to be applied for the specific examination,” said Ms Tsitsi Shoko. Another parent said Government must ensure maximum security of examination material and ensure that pupils are “not punished with rewrites.”
“Zimsec should do something about these paper leaks. It has become a regular occurrence that we have these examination papers leaking.
“They should try and locate where the problem is within their system. We certainly cannot go on like this. This is very unfair to innocent candidates,” Mr Samuel Muromba of Harare.
But another parent said it was necessary for pupils to rewrite the paper as long it was confirmed that it had leaked.
“This is a noble move especially if they noted that the pass rate was abnormally too high. However, we only have problems with this move when it comes to issues of finances.
“As parents we will start stressing about where we will get the money for bus fares. My son was in South Africa and now I have to make a plan to have him back and proceed to Gweru where he was learning. It is costly,” said a parent, speaking on condition of anonymity.
An educationist, Mr Richard Gundane said the a rewrite will psychologically affect pupils.
“The learners are going to be affected in many ways. Psychologically, there are pressures that come with examination preparations. They had already got over these pressures when they completed their examinations last year. But, unfortunately, this will be something they will have to face again.
“Then there are those pupils who are underprivileged — those who were probably staying with relatives — who have to start having the headache of raising funds to visit those relatives again in order to write this examination.
“Then there is the category of the privileged who may have travelled out of the country.
“What this means is that the rewriting of this examination may affect learners from these various backgrounds for a lifetime if they do not make it to write the examination,” he said.
“This is an unfair development as others will feel they are being punished for something they are not responsible for. It is also unfair to the taxpayers considering the money that will be used for this process and it is also unfair to the parents. Zimsec needs to do an introspection into the issue.” The Herald