GOVERNMENT will go ahead with O and A-level examinations this month although a lot of question papers have already leaked after exam papers fell off a vehicle and scattered along Simon Mazorodz
e road last week.
Eye witnesses this week told the Zimbabwe Independent that exam papers that were being transported fell off a vehicle at a traffic circle along the Harare-Masvingo road outside Harare and were picked up by members of the public.
The vehicle’s tailgate accidentally unhinged releasing cartons containing examination envelopes, sources said.
The Zimbabwe Schools Examinations Council (Zimsec) tried to underplay the incident saying the issue could be best discussed after the exams.
Zimsec director Happy Ndanga confirmed the incident but said exams will proceed at the scheduled dates despite the fact the papers had already leaked.
“It is in the national interest that the examination proceeds with minimal publicity,” Ndanga said. “We therefore do not mind discussing the issue after November 22.
“The situation you referred to in your letter is under control. We are dealing directly with examination centres. The examination will proceed as planned, following the original scheduled dates,” he said. “Nothing will change as far as candidates are concerned.”
He said everything was being done to safeguard the integrity of the November examinations and to ensure that candidates were not prejudiced.
The incident has heightened anxiety among parents over the number of cases of examination paper leaks. This year exam papers have reportedly been sold in the high-density suburb of Glen Norah and could have been disseminated to other provinces by now.
Question paper leakages and mix-ups of results have characterised the running of exams over the past four years since the implementation of a populist decision by the government to localise O-level and A-level exams in 2001.
The continued leaking of exam papers from Zimsec is now a cause for serious concern and has impacted negatively on the credibility of the local examinations board. It has raised questions about the integrity of Zimbabwe’s examination system with other countries refusing to recognise certificates issued by Zimsec.
There have also been instances of serious mix-ups in the issuing of results with some candidates getting grades in subjects they did not sit for whilst others failed to get marks for subjects they had written.