BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA
THE Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (Zimsec) is yet to pay some examiners who marked the 2021 Ordinary and Advanced Level examinations, almost seven months after completing the exercise.
Examination results for both levels were released last month.
In previous years, Zimsec would pay markers soon after the marking process or before release of the results.
“It appears Zimsec is no longer concerned about our payments because the results are already out. We signed our contracts early this year and the value of the funds has been depreciating over the months.
“Zimsec should review our allowances in view of the rise in the cost of living. This is to ensure that we benefit from the actual value,” a marker, who requested anonymity, said.
Zimsec spokesperson Nicholette Dlamini said they were still processing the payments.
“Examination markers are being paid, so I am not sure which markers are claiming that they have not been paid. At the moment, Zimsec is in the process of depositing the funds into the examiners’ accounts, which started this week and the process will be complete by the end of this week,” Dlamini said.
“In terms of the difference due to deprecation, I cannot comment on that. We will pay them according to what we agreed. As for their grievances, they know our structures and how to present them,” Dlamini added.
A standoff between markers and Zimsec over payment resulted in the examination body failing to release the 2020 O and A-Level results in time, although Zimsec blamed the COVID-19 pandemic.
Scores of markers boycotted marking midway after Zimsec failed to pay the agreed allowances.
Zimbabwe Teachers Association secretary-general Goodwill Taderera said some members who received their payments from Zimsec last week, but were disappointed that the money had lost its value.
“This is despite the prevailing inflation where prices of basic goods and services are going up each day. We expected Zimsec to communicate its position with teachers. The value of money constantly changes, hence the money that the teachers signed for is valueless,” Taderera said.
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe secretary-general Raymond Majongwe said Zimsec was unwilling to address teachers’ plight.
“Authorities are trivialising the importance of teachers. It is unfortunate that teachers rendered a service but are given a second-class treatment on payment. Government is not making education a priority. It has taken a position to vandalise the education system. How do you explain that one has not yet received their dues seven months on, without any communication?” Majongwe
Insiders told NewsDay that Zimsec was battling a financial crisis which had resulted in it struggling to pay the markers.