By Tafadzwa Kachiko
Parents and guardians have called on the Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (Zimsec) to postpone the 2020 June and November examinations to December considering that lessons have been affected by the lockdown which has been extended to May 3.
NewsDay spoke to a number of parents most of whom called for the postponement of the local examinations.
The call came after Zimsec continued with the registration for the June and November public examinations amid uncertainty.
“The exams should just be moved to December. Continuing with June exams is tantamount to dilution of the education system because candidates did not have much time to prepare. As for November, maybe the situation would have improved,” a parent, who chose to be anonymous, said.
Otillia Meda said: “June examinations should not continue because we don’t know how many times the lockdown can be extended. As for November examinations, responsible authorities need to assess the impact of the lockdown on the learning process. There may be need for online learning during this period.”
Another parent, Perkins Nyakudya suggested that if the examination dates were not moved, there was need to lower the grading system.
“There is need to move these exams to accommodate both fast and slow learners. Postponing will work well with the ‘naturally bright’ students who happen to be few. If the dates are set anywhere close, there will be need to be lenient when marking and consider lowering the grading system.”
Zimsec spokesperson Nicky Dhlamini however, said a decision on whether to postpone or not would be made in consultation with the ministry.
“We don’t work independently. We work with the ministry and government. The latter is the supreme authority of the nation, so we don’t go ahead of them. Just like when the President announced that schools were closing early, he will announce the dates when they will open. We will not make decisions independently,” she said.
Primary and Secondary Education ministry spokesperson Patrick Zumbo, who had earlier referred questions pertaining to examinations to Zimsec, said:
“Of course, we are also an interested party, but the rightful people who can answer about exams are at Zimsec. You need to engage them and find out their position so far.
“However, we were supposed to be on holiday according to the original school calendar. We may not necessarily open on the originally set date,” he said. News Day