Public Exams Still Unmarked

LAST year’s Grade 7, ‘O’ and ‘A’ level examinations are yet to be marked with the Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (Zimsec) now desperate to recruit markers.

Zimsec director Happy Ndanga last week told the nation that marking of Grade 7 examinations was complete and results would be released soon, but the council has advertised for markers.

Government last week postponed the opening of schools’ first term from January 13 to January 27 citing the unmarked examinations.

In an advertisement in today’s edition of the Zimbabwe Independent signed by Ndanga, Zimsec urgently needs to recruit teachers to mark the three examinations.

The advertisement reads: “More Grade 7 examiners and primary school teachers are required for transcription of Grade 7 marks to scanner sheets.”

Ndanga said Zimsec had improved transcription rates and transport would be provided to interested teachers.

“Grade 7 markers who were not paid in the last marking exercise will receive their outstanding payments at regional offices,” Ndanga said.

‘O’ and ‘A’ level markers would also be given the same incentives.

Sources in the council said marking of the examinations was likely to commence in a fortnight as time was needed to recruit the markers.

A teacher at a primary school in Glen Norah, Harare, told the Independent that there were fears some of the Grade 7 examination scripts were lost as disgruntled markers dumped the papers at Zimsec offices after the Reserve Bank failed to pay them as promised.

The central bank last year promised to pay the markers after Zimsec failed to meet their demands.

“When we realised that we were not going to get the money we had been promised, we dumped the papers at the marking centres and no proper documentation was done on the papers,” the teacher said.

 
Meanwhile, suspected security agents this week forced some private schools in Harare to close after they had defied a government directive to defer the opening of schools to January 27.

According to sources at one of the schools, the agents ordered heads of the education institutions to close and sent pupils back home.

Meanwhile, the Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC secretary for education Fidelis Mhashu yesterday said the government had dealt the final body blow to the education system in the country as prospects remain dim that schools would reopen on January 27.

“The MDC believes that the underlying causes of the rot in the education system remain in place and this was the initial reason why the Zanu PF caretaker government deferred the opening of schools by two weeks to January 27,” Mhashu said in a press statement. “The Zimbabwean education system, once the pride of Africa, has virtually collapsed.”

BY LUCIA MAKAMURE

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