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Chaos rocks new curriculum subjects exam registration

By Farayi Machamire

Thousands of Ordinary and Advanced level students are at risk of missing out on subjects they have been studying after government surprisingly announced that some combinations which they had chosen would not be examined.

Most students had randomly selected subjects and combinations at the commencement of the new curriculum in 2015, and were hoping to sit for these at this year’s examinations.

In a memorandum to schools on the new curriculum exam registration for ‘‘O’’ and ‘‘A’’ levels, the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) said that some subjects cannot be taken together.

“The new curriculum (2015-2022) will be examined at Ordinary (O) level for the first time in November 2018. This document provides guidance to candidates who wish to register for examinations in the November 2018 session.

“Subjects in some learning areas will be offered as options where candidates choose one. This has been done to accommodate all subjects on the examination timetable without eating into teaching time,” Zimsec announced.

It said for instance, for purposes of examination, those studying Business Enterprise cannot also be examined on Business Studies.

Among others affected are the “A” Level students doing Additional Mathematics who cannot at the same time be examined on Statistics and Additional Mathematics.

At the same time, no candidate shall take two or more indigenous languages for purposes of examination.

Zimsec credibility has suffered in recent years due to rampant corruption and cheating which have both significantly contributed to its question marks being raised about its fitness to set and run national examinations.

Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) yesterday accused Zimsec of administrative bungling which it claimed would leave thousands of students stranded.

“Two years after these syllabuses were introduced in line with the new curriculum, the ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has shown dereliction of duty in relation in the new curriculum which it punted as the cure for the country’s educational ills,”

“For the avoidance of doubt, the PTUZ family has consistently been demanding answers all along from the ministry and Zimsec who provided no guidance on which subjects were examinable and which ones were not.

“That left schools and learners free to choose any subjects and combinations that they could do only to discover some of these combinations are being outlawed on the 11th hour by the national examiner,” railed PTUZ president Takavafira Zhou, pictured.

“Surprisingly, only a few months from the exams, the Zimsec list indicates that some subjects cannot be taken together. These are the issues we were raising all-year-round but no one listened.

“We wish to inquire what will happen to those learners who would have taken those forbidden combinations for the past two years and are preparing for examinations.

“What measures will Zimsec and the ministry take to ensure that learners will not be prejudiced by the prevarication and inordinate delays and bad planning by the ministry in announcing these optional subjects?” he added. DailyNews