BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA
THERE is confusion over the payment of allowances for teachers invigilating final year examinations after the Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (Zimsec) denied responsibility.
Zimsec said the obligation to pay invigilators fell under the Public Service Commission (PSC) but Public Service minister Paul Mavima said his ministry had no control over invigilation contracts.
The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) wrote to Zimsec on Monday threatening to boycott supervising the examinations if there was no commitment to pay for the services.
The examinations begin on Monday.
Responding to PTUZ on Tuesday, Zimsec director Lazarus Nembaware said the responsibility to pay invigilators fell under the PSC.
Nembaware said this followed a resolution made at a 2019 meeting “where the matter of the invigilation of examinations was addressed by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education (MoPSE)”.
“The forum which was attended by representatives of all teachers unions, MoPSE and Zimsec comprehensively discussed this and other issues to do with teachers who are involved in invigilating examinations, the MoPSE, then represented by chief director J Dewah and Mr P Muzawazi (retired), adjourned the meeting with an undertaking to engage the employer of teachers which is the PSC,” Nembaware wrote to PTUZ.
“The responsibility that your letter puts on Zimsec belongs to another entity and we cordially advise you to seek engagement with the relevant authority.”
But Mavima yesterday said: “Zimsec is administered by the Primary and Secondary Education ministry and the Public Service ministry has no control over the contract between Zimsec and its invigilators.”
PTUZ president Takavafira Zhou said the confusion had thrown the invigilation of examination into a “quandary”.
“Attempts to prevaricate, change goal posts and shift blame elsewhere are ill-conceived, callous and unfortunate. Such evasiveness and elusiveness, will compound the invigilation process. If the responsibility of running examinations is PSC’s, why are Zimsec officials monitoring the process?” Zhou asked.
Zimbabwe Teachers Association secretary-general Goodwill Taderera added: “Zimsec is a parastatal on its own. It must be able to run its examinations. If it has contracts with markers then it can do the same with the invigilators.
“They (government authorities) may throw the ball to each other, but the fact remains that teachers want to get paid. Zimsec cannot continue referring to a meeting that was held two years back and has already been overtaken by events.”
Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe president Orbert Masaraure said Zimsec should pay invigilators “just the same way it pays its examiners and markers”.