Mukudzei Chingwere Herald Reporter
Public exams started yesterday smoothly and without incident beginning with the Grade 7 Zimsec examinations in all registered primary schools, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education reported last night.
The Minister of Primary and Secondary Education also met teachers’ unions in Harare yesterday and advised them to bring forward all their concerns in writing.
Zimbabwe has put in place adequate measures, informed by the World Health Organisation guidelines, to ensure public examinations are held without risk to the safety of either learners or teachers.
Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education spokesperson Mr Taungana Ndoro gave the details last night.
“The exams started well across the country and we did not have any problems. It sailed smoothly and we are grateful to all those who played a part.
“The teachers’ unions have their concerns as well, and today they met the minister where they were advised to come up with a position for all their requests through ZIMTA,” said Mr Ndoro.
“We expect to finish these exams incident-free even for the upcoming O and A’ Level examination. This is not the first time we are having examinations under Covid-19. Last year we did well and we expect the same.”
That the examinations were held in an incident-free environment was corroborated by the heads who were upbeat of finishing the job at hand without any challenges.
National Association of Primary Heads president Mrs Cynthia Khumalo said all the reports she received were positive.
“We started well; everything was in place. Today there was one exam in the morning and on Wednesday they will write two examinations. We are just following the standard operating procedure prescribed by the Ministry of Health and Child Care which has meant that everyone remains safe,” said Mrs Khumalo.
She said they were not expecting any major challenges with the handling of public examinations following the protocols put in place and the support they were getting from the Ministry of Health and Child Care.
In keeping with social distancing rules, more classrooms and spacious halls are being used to space out the pupils writing the examination.
“It is not the first time we are holding public examinations under these conditions,” said Mrs Khumalo.
“We are now better prepared because of the experience we had last year and remember last year there were no incidents and exams were held in a safe manner. We are also holding end of year local examinations for our schools, so at times classes will be alternating, such that when we have a public exam in the morning local ones will be written in the afternoon.”
The Herald visited some schools in Harare and it was business as usual in most areas.