via Bring back Cambridge exams: MP – DailyNews Live by Chengetai Zvauya 17 FEBRUARY 2014
A legislator has demanded the reinstatement of Cambridge examinations to replace the Zimbabwe Schools Examinations Council (Zimsec).
Zanu PF MP, Fani Phiri, last week said Zimsec has been associated with examination paper leakages which have discredited the body.
The latest 2013 ‘O’ Level exam results saw a 2 percent rise in the pass rate to 20 percent.
“We continue to have leakages in Zimsec. Did this contribute to the low pass rate we have been having for the past few years, since we started the Zimsec?
“This has discredited our education so can we revert back to Cambridge examinations?” asked Phiri.
However, Lazarus Dokora, Primary and Secondary Education, minister defended Zimsec saying it was introduced in the education system in consultation with Cambridge Examination Board and is internationally-recognised.
“There is no change in the examination system from Cambridge, the only difference is that marking is now done here”, Dokora said.
“When we introduced Zimsec, we had worked in conjunction with Cambridge and they approved our examination board.
“It is not correct we have a low pass rate this year as we have a major improvement in pass rate from the previous years.”
Dokora said this year’s ‘O’ Level pass rate was much better compared to the previous years as his ministry has been engaging teachers and headmasters to spend much more time teaching in schools, rather than focusing on non-professional duties.
“We look at the students with five credits pass and with those who have 4 or 3 credits passes, and it is quite high compared to other years,” Dokora said.
His deputy, Paul Mavima, also backed Zimsec.
“The leakages take place at the school level and not at Zimsec or in transmissions to district centres”, Mavima said.
“It is at schools where we are having problems. We are trying to identify the problem and we have set up a committee together with Zimsec to investigate on where the leakages are starting.”