Bring back Cambridge exams: MP

via Bring back Cambridge exams: MP – DailyNews Live by Chengetai Zvauya 17 FEBRUARY 2014 

A  legislator has demanded the reinstatement of Cambridge examinations to replace the Zimbabwe Schools Examinations Council (Zimsec).

Zanu PF MP, Fani Phiri, last week said Zimsec has been associated with examination paper leakages which have discredited the body.

The latest 2013 ‘O’ Level exam results saw a 2 percent rise in the pass rate to 20 percent.
“We continue to have leakages in Zimsec. Did this contribute to the low pass rate we have been having for the past few years, since we started the Zimsec?

“This has discredited our education so can we revert back to Cambridge examinations?” asked Phiri.

However, Lazarus Dokora, Primary and Secondary Education, minister defended Zimsec saying it was introduced in the education system in consultation with Cambridge Examination Board and is internationally-recognised.

“There is no change in the examination system from Cambridge, the only difference is that marking is now done here”, Dokora said.

“When we introduced Zimsec, we had worked in conjunction with Cambridge and they approved our examination board.

“It is not correct we have a low pass rate this year as we have a major improvement in pass rate from the previous years.”

Dokora said this year’s ‘O’ Level pass rate was much better compared to the previous years as his ministry has been engaging teachers and headmasters to spend much more time teaching in schools, rather than focusing on non-professional duties.

“We look at the students with five credits pass and with those who have 4 or 3 credits passes, and it is quite high compared to other years,” Dokora said.

His deputy, Paul Mavima, also backed Zimsec.

“The leakages take place at the school level and not at Zimsec or in transmissions to district centres”, Mavima said.

“It is at schools where we are having problems. We are trying to identify the problem and we have set up a committee together with Zimsec to investigate on where the leakages are starting.”


  • comment-avatar
    John Thomas 8 years ago

    Zimbabweans boast of their highly educated country. With a 20% pass rate at O level this exposed as a lie. Of those who do pass many may still be considered functionally illiterate, having absolutely no idea of how to function in a modern environment, being useless for employment in any but menial positions. Employers find themselves having to employ university graduates when lesser qualifications should be sufficient. This is why the country ran away from the Cambridge system in the first place. Standards had fallen too far.

    Re-engagement with the world and outside assistance are now required.

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    Rukweza 8 years ago

    Some buy exam papers,teachers writing for students.remember the year when candidates recieving grades for subjects they did not sit for,on national quiz show your find a ‘A’ level student failing to answer on which province do you find vic falls

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    easily fooled 8 years ago

    Even if Cambridge was involved in the introduction, you have failed to comply, hence Zimsec is discredited. Fani, push on. But as for the pass rate, no its for lack of material, qualified teachers and mulnourishment and lack of food. You cannot teach a child who slept without and expect to concentrate. I have observed schools were children are given donated maheu and other food stuffs doing much better, in fact their pass rate can go above 56%. Make you research and prove me wrong.

    Pamberi nemusangano, pasi nevapambevhu.

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    Johnny k 8 years ago

    Fani Phiri is an uneducated person who probably does not have grade7 examination qualifications. What on earth does the Kadoma Central MP know about education??

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    Bruce 8 years ago

    Cambridge would be better especially now with USD which previously was scarce that compelled Ministry to have local exam. Cambridge is best since it does not have leakages and even teachers will be forced to be brilliant otherwise they will exposed. Zimsec is riddled with corruption and results buying as was exposed in past

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    Black Moses 8 years ago

    the truth has been said .those with ears have heard. arrogance will not get us anywhere. this is not politics but about the future of our children and the country. By localising our exam system , we have lowered drastically our education standards .keep on telling them .please bring back Cambridge .its an international exam board. zimsec is localised board. Our graduates are no longer marketable international becoz of localization through the much discredited zimsec. batshele.

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    Mthwakazi 8 years ago

    ZIMSEC is a national disaster.

    The language of instruction in the whole Zim education system is English, but the students the system is producing can hardly string a few good sentences in English and the pronounciation is atrocious.

    Gone is that Ian Smith education system that produced the likes of gukurahundi Robert Mugabe and their good command of the English language. Zimbabweans now speak and write poor English just like South Africans. But at least South Africans have Afrikaans to explain their confusion. Zim schools no longer have Afrikaans as a subject language too – all because of gukurahundi politics.

    The Shonas are worse – many of them can longer write proper English, hence they prefer to write in Shona. Their pronounciation is atrocious – without one being told of one’s name or nationality you can even tell, this person is Shona when they phone in, into SABC radio talk-show programmes – its terrible bafowethu.

    I support the call to go back to the Cambridge examination system where they did not just mark the answers, but they also marked the language. Actually the very fact that the marking is done locally is one of the main problems – because this is where corruption is dominant!!

  • comment-avatar

    Kubva zvakazvarwa ZANU PF Fani Phiri chete ndiye minister watanga kutaura zvinemusoro, Cambridge ndizvo.Kwete ZIMSEC (Zibenzi mopata sekerera chete) ngaiperekedze sekuru kumarinda vaende vakafara, ndinoreva ngomwa baba chatunga kana kuti Robert chero Bobo

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    cambridge 8 years ago

    it may be good that cambridge exams to comes back but i don’t agree with the MPs reasoning.How can campridge exams improve pass rate,if heads can open zimsec i dont see them failing to open campridge staff from the uk will be sent to keep and transport exam papers in combies.The truth is restore the status of teachers and provide students with stationery and textbooks and see if we won’t get an improvement.its proving difficult for some politian to appreciate the efforts of the former education minister.Thats true some of our degrees are not being recognised in some countries but someone needs to be reminded that at university we dont write zimsec please.

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    This year there is going to b a low pass rate becoz o the Minister of Prmary and secondary Education’s directive to the Headmasters not to give incentives to teachers and the govenments failure to pay Teachers proper salaries,

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    Mthwakazi 8 years ago

    ZIMSEC graduates can not tell the difference in tenses.

    “Built” and “build” are one and the same thing to them. “Send” and “sent” are one and the sme thing to them.

    They also make no difference between “respond” and “response”. You find someone writing “I look forward to your respond”.

    They are too Americanised and they love this useless SMS language!!!