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Corruption rife in school examinations

SCORES of headmasters and teachers around the country are writing examinations on behalf of other people for a fee to enable them to secure employment, The Standard has heard.

BY CAIPHAS CHIMHETE

Teachers and headmasters interviewed last week said the practice was most common in remote areas, where the possibility of getting caught by officials from the Ministry of Education would be low.

“In most cases, it would be a racket involving two or more people at the school,” said one teacher at a school in Gweru. “What you should know is that it is difficult for a teacher to sit for an examination for an external student without the headmaster knowing it.”

The teacher said although this was also happening at primary level, the practice was most common at O’Level and A’Level.

A headmaster at a school in Kariba was recently arrested for allegedly writing a June O’Level mathematics examination paper for two external candidates who promised him payment if they passed.
Fish Tarzen Chiyangwa of Mola Secondary School in Kariba district, sat for the examination in June this year on behalf of one Mairos Siyabwanda and John Makayi, both under Chief Mola.

Chiyangwa pleaded guilty to the charge and was duly convicted and sentenced to six months in prison, which would be wholly suspended if he pays a fine of US$400.

Last month, another headmaster from Gokwe appeared before a magistrate charged with six counts of fraud after he allegedly wrote an O’Level mathematics examination paper on behalf of candidates for a fee in November last year.

Bitone, the headmaster of Mhumha Secondary School, was allegedly charging his victims between US$150 and US$200 each for the test.
Two senior teachers from Katsande Secondary School and another from Chikukwa Secondary School in June appeared before a magistrate in Mutoko, facing charges of criminal abuse of duty after sitting for exams for other people.

Jackson Chibisa, a headmaster at Katsande Secondary School, his deputy Douglas Maquina, and their colleague Timothy Mavariro, a headmaster at Chikukwa Secondary School, were accused of facilitating the writing of a June O’Level mathematics paper for Violet Chikaripo in her absence.

Chikaripo, who had flunked four times, is wife to Maquina. Mlambo was caught red-handed by Zimsec officials from Marondera, ”sitting” on Chikaripo’s paper.

“This is just the tip of the ice-bag,” said another teacher at a school in Chinhoyi.

“If the Ministry of Education was to carry out  thorough investigations, it will be discovered that a lot of teachers and headmasters have done it or are doing it.”

Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) national coordinator, Ladistous Zunde said the issue of education officials writing exams for other people was worrying, especially as the exam dates draw near.

He said in some remote areas of the country, the headmasters are the only ones with access to the exam papers, and “this is tempting, as he can to do whatever he wants”.

“Expect more of these this time of the year,” he said. “There are a lot of loopholes in the system as there are no monitoring systems in place, even from the movement of exam papers from regional offices to the schools. Headmasters in rural school can open the papers and give to friends and relatives in advance.”

Zunde said at some schools in areas such as Rushinga in Mashonaland Central and Nemakonde in Mashonaland West, O’level drop outs, with no knowledge of administration, are running the learning institutions.

Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Lazarus Dokora could not be reached for comment.

But last week, the education minister expressed concern over increasing cases of corruption in schools countrywide.

MORE DECAY UNEARTHED  at BULAWAYO SCHOOLS

In another case of corruption, a headmaster in Mzilikazi district in Bulawayo is under investigation by the Ministry of Education after he allegedly registered bright pupils only as formal students, while those considered “dull” were registered as external pupils.

A source in the Education ministry said this was discovered when the students started writing their examinations last week.

“By doing this, the headmaster wanted to attain the best pass rate in the district, but this was discovered by alert invigilators,” said the source. “PED [provincial education director] Dan Moyo is handling the case.”

There are allegations of corruption at Induba Primary School in the same district, where teachers who retired or were fired are still staying in government houses. Disgruntled serving teachers alleged that the retired teachers were “bribing” district education officials for them to continue staying in the subsidised accommodation.

Under normal circumstances, an employee who would have been fired, resigned, or retired is supposed to vacate government accommodation after three months.

Moyo could not be reached for comment.

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9 Responses to Corruption rife in school examinations

  1. J. Masenda October 13, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

    There is corruption everywhere in education. How can a Headmaster of nyamuzuwe continue to steal more after being caught with a shortfall of 250 000 dollars. We parents have tried everything but nothing has matrialied. He has not changed he is still stealing our fees. Education oficials are being bribed to sweep the embezelment under the carpert . Help us perents of Nyamuzuwe High School publish this story.

  2. concerned October 13, 2013 at 6:43 pm #

    Can someone investigate schools in Mhangura especially those in the farms surrounding the mining town.Teachers are sitting for private candidates

  3. cliford wizo October 14, 2013 at 8:53 am #

    the teaching profession was a respected one up to the year 2000, teachers were regarded as role models in our societies but now if he/she is not on a school which can afford incentives, he/she is almost a destitute, so an opportunity which comes in his/her way can easily lure him/her. these guys should earn a decent salary for them to shun corruption. Asi sure munoti teacher apiwe mari yemufudzi wemombe and still maintain the good standard, hameno?

  4. mega October 14, 2013 at 11:15 am #

    the police do it all the time on the roads. now they own fleets of noahs and ipsums. what do you expect teachers to do. of course corruption should be condemned and perpetrators arrested. problem is it all begins at the top. our leaders are corrupt and filthy rich. this sends the messeg that one can only be rich via corruption.

  5. Moses October 19, 2013 at 11:16 am #

    Hove inotanga kuora musoro.

    There can never be any worse manner than by way of corruption in which our once beatiful country got destroyed. Sadly its irretrievable !

  6. mbudzi October 20, 2013 at 9:58 am #

    inodya payakasungirirwa…vamwe vakabve kuma diamonds, hino vodye dzema toll gates zvichingoendawo zvakadaro

  7. chrispen October 20, 2013 at 7:12 pm #

    inhlanzi iqala ukubola ikhanda.The leaders are corrupt so who is to blame here. are paying bribes to the policemen everyday and nothing has been done about it. Pay the teachers well to curb this temptation and they will respect their profession.

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  9. nyakujara October 21, 2013 at 11:27 pm #

    ladies and gentleman lets be realistic , humans are a wanting animal they will never be satisfied. Even if the teachers were to be given $2000 a month they will stil say we are underpaid. i feel that teachers should be responsible enough to regain their dignity in the in the community and fight corruption with the whole nation

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