SCORES of “O” and A’level students who wrote the Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (Zimsec) examinations last year, are still waiting for their results after a mix-up at the examination body.
Report by Nunurai Jena
This means the students will not be able to proceed with their education until the mess is sorted out.
Benoni Mugove, who was an A’level student at Chinhoyi High 2 Secondary School, said he is still waiting for his English Literature results.
Despite paying the US$10 search fee required by Zimsec, his results have not come.
Mugove now fears he may be forced to write the subject again and time is running out for him to submit results as part of a university application process.
He says most of his former classmates are already enrolled for university education at various institutions.
“I am being forced to repeat since they can’t give me my results and time is running out for me,” said Mugove.
Another student, Edith Chitsanga, is facing a similar problem.
Chitsanga said she was told by Zimsec officials that she could not be assisted because she sat as an external student.
One of the parents whose son is failing to get his results is bitter.
Gladys Masenda from Chinhoyi blasted Zimsec and the government for failing to give her child his a’level results.
Masenda, a single mother, says her son would lose two years because he would have to repeat.
“The government and Zimsec for me is one and the same thing; they have let down my son as they cannot give him his results,” said Masenda. “The only option is for him to repeat and those are two wasted years,” said Masenda.
Other students who spoke to The Standard said they had gotten results for subjects they never wrote, an indication of the symbolic nature of last year’s examinations.
Sources in the education sector said the problem of students failing to get results or getting what they did not sit for was not restricted to Mashonaland Central province, but was a national crisis.
“We have received several reports from all over the country,” said an official with the Ministry of Education. “I think the ministry needs to carry out a full investigation into this issue, otherwise we will have the same problem year in year out.”
Most private schools do not offer Zimsec examinations, opting for those administered by foreign bodies like Cambridge in the UK.
Acting permanent secretary in the education ministry, Mr Chrispen Bowora, admitted recently that budget cutbacks over the past decade have contributed to a negative perception of the ministry.
He said Zimsec as an organisation has also faced a number of operational challenges during the period.
Education ministry to blame — Nhandara
Zimsec director, Essau Nhandara blamed the Ministry of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture for failing to properly maintain and administer the registration of students.
The registration of students is done by headmasters and teachers who fall under the Ministry of Education and not Zimsec, he said.
“Students register for specific subjects by using a colour code. This happens around March every year. Students then receive an examination entry form sometime in July,” Nhandara said. “It is at this stage that any discrepancies between students’ registrations and what is listed on the entry form can be corrected.”
Nhandara said so-called “pirate” or external students, who register with public schools to access Zimsec examinations, cannot have their problem addressed as it was against the education policy for them to write the exams.
They are also not allowed to pay the US$10 dollar search fee if their results do not materialise, he said.