BY RICHARD MUPONDE
THE Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) has failed to pay teachers who marked the 2020 “O” Level and “A” Level examinations.
Markers are said to be owed $35 000 each and are reportedly on a collision course with Zimsec.
Reports are that Zimsec told the markers that it would stagger the payments, but has not furnished them with information on when this would commence.
One of the disgruntled markers told NewsDay that Zimsec intended to raise the money from examination fees which were increased a fortnight ago.
The markers also accused the examination body of failing to cater for their welfare during the marking period, including failing to pay for their transport, accommodation and meals.
“I made inquiries with them and they told me that they didn’t have money at the moment. They said when they start paying, they are going to stagger the payments. Most of us are owed $35 000 each,” one of the markers told NewsDay.
Zimsec board chairperson Eddie Mwenje, however, said the markers should have been paid by now as they discussed the issue a fortnight ago.
“We discussed the matter two weeks ago. You know they are paid after results are out. We published the results some weeks ago and I think they have been paid. I haven’t had any problems with that,” he said.
But teachers’ unions yesterday castigated government, accusing it of being insensitive to the plight of teachers.
Zimbabwe National Teachers Union Zinatu chief executive officer Manuel Nyawo said government should pay the markers.
“I wonder whether this current government is a government that is sensitive and sympathetic to the plight of its people including teachers. There was also need for wide consultations to come up with the decision to increase examination fees,” he said.
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe president Takavafira Zhou said: “The money Zimsec uses to pay markers must never be drawn from learners or candidates, but the national budgetary allocation. It would be irresponsible for Zimsec to benchmark its operations on the payment of exam fees by pupils. The State must ensure Zimsec operates smoothly, and protect its credibility as a national education examining body.”
He said markers were normally paid a week after completing their task.
A fortnight ago, government increased examination fees for the November “O” and “A” Level examinations by 55%, bringing the total cost to $5 194 for seven “O” Level subjects and $3 240 for three “A” Level subjects.