Source: Zimta slams Zimsec | Daily News
HARARE – The Zimbabwe Teachers Association (Zimta) has called on the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) to revisit new Grade Seven examination policy, which is said to be unnecessarily costly for schools.
Zimta secretary-general Tapson Sibanda said Zimsec should revisit its policy whereby Grade Seven examinations are collected and resubmitted after writing on a daily basis to and from cluster centres.
“The exercise has proven to be unnecessarily too costly for schools, particularly some rural remote ones. Schools are required to hire transport to collect these exams and send them back to cluster centres on a daily basis for the duration of the 11-day exam period,” he said.
“Considering the challenges in revenue inflows in primary schools, particularly remote rural ones, this policy has become a punishment to these schools and their heads instead of it being an exercise to plug out leakages.”
Sibanda noted that in some remote schools, heads resort to walking long distances of between 10-20 km and sleep over in cluster centres to collect exams on time.
He described this exercise as inhuman, claiming it was unprofessional and unsustainable for remote schools.
The Zimta secretary-general added that Zimsec did not consult other stakeholders in coming up with the policy.
“We have evidence of some heads walking such long distances back to their schools carrying exams rushing to arrive at stations before exam starting time.
“To make matters worse, the heads were not notified in advance of such a position, hence, it was not budgeted for,” Sibanda said.
Describing the policy as diabolic, he said that a more user-friendly method befitting remote areas should be devised as the current one was put up by people who have no idea of rural teachers’ experiences.
“Such is an arm chair decision designed from air-conditioned offices in the capital by people who have never experienced the challenges of walking the dust roads of Binga, Mt Darwin and Chitulipasi, just to mention a few, on behalf of these rural communities,” Sibanda noted.
“Such blanket policies are devoid of reality on the ground and should not be allowed in the 21st Century modern day Zimbabwe.
“It is an insult to professionalism required in running public exams.”
This comes shortly after Zimta and the Progressive Teachers Union accused Primary and Secondary Education minister Paul Mavima of dictatorship after he dismissed their suggestion to get payment for Zimsec exams invigilation.