Controversial Ndebele paper haunts Zimsec

via Controversial Ndebele paper haunts Zimsec March 24, 2014 in NewsDay

THE issue of the controversial 2013 Grade 7 Ndebele examination paper that was condemned for the use of inappropriate language surfaced again in the National Assembly last week as MPs demanded an overhaul of the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec).

MPs also questioned the credibility of Ordinary and Advanced Level pass rates due to constant leakages of examination papers while discussing a motion introduced by Matobo North legislator, Never Khanye (Zanu PF) calling on government to act on malpractices affecting the examination body.

Khanye proposed that Zimsec be affiliated to the University of Zimbabwe to ensure quality.

“By so doing, we are going to reduce great mistakes which have been found on our examinations,” he said.

“For example, in 2013, there was a Ndebele Grade Seven paper which used the word ‘umangumba’ literally meaning ‘pfambi’ or prostitute. This, to me, is a serious offence to our third national language Ndebele.”

Zimsec at the time defended the language used in the paper saying it had passed rigorous tests by Ndebele language experts.

Hurungwe West MP Temba Mliswa said Zimsec should have its own facilities to print exam papers so they would have control over the examination process.

“The issue of examinations and the leakage of papers do not help as well because we then begin to question the pass rate in the country on how true it is, if we hear examinations papers being leaked,” he said.

“Does it mean that the results that we are getting are not a true reflection of how pupils are preparing to write examinations or they are a reflection of that leakage which has happened? We need to seal and control, to confine that leakage.”

According to Zimsec, the Ordinary Level results recorded a pass rate of 18,4%, a drop from last year’s 19,5% while an 81,6% was recorded for “A” Level.

Khanye said some examination papers leak because headmasters use public transport, which is not reliable.

He suggested that funds raised during civvies’ day should be channelled towards providing secure transportation.

“Countless times, Zimsec has had leaked examinations which undermine their reputation,” he said.

“Headmasters carry examination papers on public transport. There is need for the ministry to take note of this, even with limited resources.

“Let us try and assist Zimsec both as government and parents.

“Why do I say this? If schools can change civvies money, why not utilise that money to be on transportation of their examination papers from the respective collection centres to their schools?”

MPs said by affiliating to the university, there would be proper monitoring of standards and procedures.

Bulawayo South MP Eddie Cross supported the motion saying there was need to build on Zimbabwe’s already superior education system.

“Our education system is among the best in Southern Africa and maybe in Africa,” he said.

“To me, elements in our education system are superior to South Africa.”



  • comment-avatar
    Chamunoda Nyamakate 8 years ago

    Exam leakages are not mainly as a result of loss during transportation using public transport. Exams leaks are mainly motivated by responsible officials (a) who want relatives or own children to gain an unfair advantage over others and (b) who want to raise easy cash. How immoral and unethical!
    If you want this to stop just impose a mantatory 5 year jail term of any head or official who loses or leaks exam papers.

  • comment-avatar
    The Truth. 8 years ago

    The so-called Ndebele language experts are useless. What they call Ndebele is actually NDEBESHO, not real Ndebele. Very few people in Mthwakazi can speak proper Ndebele today. Gone are experts like Ndabezinhle Sigogo; Mpofu and Barbara Makhalisa – some of our language heroes of yesterday.

    Real and proper Ndebele is closer to isiZulu, not closer to Shona. What we have in Zim today is this so-called Ndebele that is much closer to Shona than it is closer to isiZulu, hence the new name NDEBESHO.

    This so-called Ndebele is the product of the post 1980 gukurahundi Zimbabwe, because of the gukurahundis who ravaged ruarl Mthwakazi forcing our innocent villagers to speak Shona at gun point.

    I mean, what is mayinini?
    We say mamoncane in Ndebele, not mayinini;
    We say umkhulu or ukhulu in Ndebele not sekuru;
    We say ikhikhitha, not umangumba;
    We say ukwenelisa, or ukukhona or ukwazi in Ndebele, not ukukwanisa;
    We say kwanele, Zanele or kuphelele, or Ziphelele in Ndebele, not kukwanile!!

    Go back to the Ndebele of the 1920s, 1930s, ’40’s; ’50’s, ’60’s and ’70’s. Not this current rubbish you are teaching our children. This is cultural assimilation through cultural imperialism!!

  • comment-avatar
    Kubota Binga 8 years ago

    The Truth,kKeep dreaming about your pure Ndebele pal. I wanna see you in your Bhetshu as well. Smells of political correctness rather than champining the Ndebele cause!

    • comment-avatar
      The Truth. 8 years ago

      I dont dream, I speak isiZulu, isiXhosa, isiSotho, isiTswana and Sepedi perfectly. All I am doing here is telling THE TRUTH about gukurahundi Zimbabwe!!

    • comment-avatar
      The Truth. 8 years ago

      Kubota Binga
      Remember, the current constitution recognises all the Mthwakazi provinces’ languages. So, no one can claim they are being compelled by anyone to speak this or that language. It is everyone’s right to speak their undiluted language.

      If one is not Ndebele, they have no right of criticising a Ndebele for demanding that their language be used properly.

      Likewise, if one is Manyika, Sotho, Venda, Tonga, Karanga, Nambya, Khalanga, Shangani – they equally have a right to demand that their languages be used properly.

      Allowing the improper use of a language is opening up avenues for the total domination and destruction of other people’s languages by the so-called majority languages.

      And calling people daydreamers is unconstitutional; undemocratic and gukurahundistic!!!