By Lungile Tshuma
Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (Zimsec) has warned schools that if they leak this year’s examinations they risk being banned from being examination centres.
Responding to questions sent by Sunday News, Zimsec acting director Mr John Maramba said regulations have been put in place to avoid the leakage of examination papers that have characterised past examination periods.
“Centres that are implicated in malpractice risk having their centre status withdrawn,” said Mr Maramba.
“The Civil Service Commission regulations provide for stiff penalties for such disciplinary cases. Law enforcement agents are brought in where there are signs of criminal intent.
“Moreso, the usual civil service regulations apply. Teachers are employees of the Civil Service Commission through the user ministry (Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education).”
Other measures, which Zimsec has devised to curb incidents of examinations being leaked, include the distribution of question papers as near as possible to the date of examination.
“Zimsec officials and the ministry will conduct unannounced spot checks at centres,” Mr Maramba said.
Grade 7 examinations start on 7 October while those for practical subjects started on 16 September and pupils are now waiting to write their theory examinations which commence on 27 October for both O-level and A-level.
Mr Maramba also revealed that this year’s Grade 7 candidates recorded the highest entry since 2005.
“The total number of candidates at Grade 7 is 322 697, an increase of 1,3 percent from 2013. All candidates will write English, Mathematics and General Paper.
“For the fourth subject, candidates choose one other language from the remaining six examined at this level, namely: Nambya, Ndebele, Xichangana, Shona, Tonga, and Tsvhivenda. A total of 39 937 candidates registered to write A-level and 328 728 candidates will be writing O-Level,” he said.
For indigenous languages, 2 142 will write Tsvhivenda, Tonga will be written by 4 104, while 738 will sit for Nambya, 1 410 for Xichangana, Ndebele will be written 52 551 and Shona by 261 665.
In 2012, the acting headmaster of Sijawugwe Secondary School in Bubi District, Matabeleland North, Mr Panganayi Zimunhu, lost 13 examination papers at Renkini Long Distance Bus Terminus in Bulawayo, a move which cost Zimsec $996 000 to print examination question papers for all 286 343 candidates who had registered.
Leaking of examinations has characterised most of the past examinations.
Last year, a headmistress at Njeremoto Secondary School in Zhombe was taken to court accused of leaking two examination papers.
The headmaster and a teacher at Ntute Primary School in Insiza District were also accused of leaking an examination paper to some pupils. Sunday News