By Freedom Mupanedemo and Michael Magoronga
Kwekwe Polytechnic Technical College yesterday suspended lectures after students from the Engineering department staged a demonstration against rewriting one of the exam papers that had been leaked.
Anti-riot police had to be called in to quell the riotous students who were attacking their colleagues who were already in the exam room to sit for the new paper.
By noon yesterday, the institution was deserted serve, for police in riot gear who were patrolling the grounds.
Kwekwe Poly Principal, Mr Evans Musara, confirmed the demonstrations which he said were triggered by some students who were not willing to rewrite the exam.
He said the decision for the examination to be re-written was beyond the college and was made by the Higher Education Examination Council (HEXCO).
“What I can say now is that we were affected as a college,” he said. “But what has to be understood is that examination decisions are made at different levels, and since this was a HEXCO decision, I, therefore, refer you to the permanent secretary, Professor Fanuel Tagwira, who chairs the HEXICO board.”
Efforts to get a comment from Prof Tagwira were fruitless.
Some students who were interviewed said they were protesting against the decision to rewrite the exam because those who were caught cheating in the exam were arrested and prosecuted.
“We felt the institution is not being fair on this matter because some of us only received short messages on our mobile phones from the institution at the weekend to the effect that we were rewriting this exam,” a student who declined to be named.
“We sat for the exams some two months back and some of us were now relaxing at home waiting for the results only to be told that we were sitting for the same exam, it’s disappointing.”
Another student said they were not given enough time to prepare and had travelled all the way from Mutare after receiving the SMS at the weekend.
She said the students who were caught cheating were prosecuted by the courts and there was no reason to re-write the exam.
“I understand those who were caught cheating were arrested and appeared in court over the matter, so why do we have to re-write the exam?” asked the student. The Herald