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Zimsec reviews FRS syllabus content

By Pauline Hurungudo

The Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) will review the content and evaluation process in the Family and Religious Studies (FRS) (6074/1) Advanced Level paper.

File picture of pupils in class writing exams
File picture of pupils in class writing exams

This comes after teachers wrote a letter of complaint that the November 2018 examination ambushed both the teachers and students, after presented questions did not tally with the new syllabus template.

In the final FRS November 2018 examination, Section A was said to be in line with syllabus specifications, while Section B was not aligned, especially with questions that looked at Hosea and Isaiah.

Zimsec acting director Lazarus Nembaware responded to the plea by the teachers saying a thorough investigation is underway to address the issues.

“As the Examinations Council, we do not take lightly these issues and are in the process of making investigations so as to respond to you accurately and timeously.

“We thank you for your usual pro-action for the integrity and professionalism of the education fraternity,” Nembaware said.

Progressive Teachers Union Zimbabwe (PTUZ) secretary-general, Raymond Majongwe, demanded that Zimsec take mitigation measures to ensure that the students who wrote the examination did not fail due to administration mistakes.

In a letter to the examination board, Majongwe said that the November paper lacked validity.

“The complaints by the teachers around the country hinges on the way FRS (Divinity) items are being set and marked, compromising the final points outcome,” Majongwe said.

Zimsec was said to be selecting non-classroom practitioners from private schools, who teach the Cambridge syllabus, to mark and supervise Zimsec marking sessions.

Teachers also complained that the marking standards are too high, as they were purported to benchmark beyond first degree stratums.

Amid other problems noted, markers were reported to be traumatised by an unnamed “female subject manager” in the previous divinity examination session.

An inset in the letter read: “The subject manager uses divide and rule tactics and she has also used the invitation to mark as her trump card to blackmail markers to tow her line.

“In December 2015, the whole marking session was a bootlicking session where markers were coerced to contribute a dollar each for her birthday … and last year a marker died on duty, arguably as a result of unnecessary pressure that she extends on examiners,” the inset read. Daily News