Sunday Mail Reporter
GRADE SEVEN candidates will be the first to sit for the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) public exams in December, with results set to be published in the same month to allow them ample time to look for Form One places.
The exams are set to begin on December 1.
Advanced Level exams will similarly be written in the same month, while exams for Ordinary Level candidates are expected to spill into January 2021.
About 1,2 million learners will be sitting for their exams this year.
Preparations have already begun following an announcement by Cabinet to reopen schools this month.
Government has decided to reopen schools on September 28 for Zimsec exam classes only.
Cambridge classes will reopen on September 14, with exams set by a British-based board beginning on October 1.
The drafting of timetables for Zimsec candidates has begun, while Cambridge is distributing question papers countrywide.
Zimsec board chairperson Professor Eddie Mwenje told The Sunday Mail that after the timetables have been drafted, there would be extensive consultations with various stakeholders, after which they will be shared with the candidates.
“Examinations will start on December 1, with Grade Seven candidates being the first to sit for the exams,” he said.
“This will enable their answer scripts to be marked and the results to be published in December so that parents have enough time to look for Form One places.
“Advanced Level candidates will also write and complete their examinations in December, while the Ordinary Level classes will be the ones that have their examinations spill into January.
“Zimsec is now seized with the drafting of the timetables, which will be shared to the stakeholders before they are released to the students.”
Prof Mwenje said the printing of Grade Seven examination papers has since been completed.
The exams management body said it is now printing exam papers for Ordinary and Advanced Level candidates.
An assessment of centres across the country for suitability to hold exams is also currently underway.
According to Zimsec figures, about 600 000 Grade Seven learners will be sitting for their final examinations this year, including 400 000 Ordinary Level and 200 000 Advanced Level students.
British Council in Zimbabwe — which is the UK’s international organisation for education and cultural relations, and also administers exams on behalf of Cambridge — applauded Government’s move to open schools for examination classes as this would help with preparations.
British Council Zimbabwe business development manager Mr Dennis Madzamba said some schools had already started mock examinations at home.
“Cambridge November 2020 paper-based examinations start on 1 October, with some practicals starting towards the end of September.
“Schools do mock exams under exam conditions before the start of exams as a way of ensuring candidates are adequately prepared for the exams, and this is ideal in a school set-up as opposed to a home set-up.
“We are ecstatic on the Government’s decision to reopen Cambridge exam classes on 14 September, which will help in candidates’ preparations for the exams.”
About 50 000 students sit for Cambridge examinations in 118 private schools across the country.