THE Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (ZIMSEC) Ordinary and Advanced level examinations are set to resume today after a two-week festive holiday break.
The last papers were written on December 17 and resumption of examinations comes just two days after New Year’s Day celebrations.
The 2021 examination classes experienced a different festive season as they were studying at the same time for the remaining exams.
All boarding school learners returned to their respective stations yesterday to settle just a day before resuming their exams.
Boarders that tested positive for Covid-19 had remained in quarantine at their schools and the last batch of pupils in Bulawayo finished their isolation period on December 23.
The country continued to record new Covid-19 infections on a daily basis during the festive season and as a result President Mnangagwa last Friday extended the Level 2 lockdown and deferred the re-opening of schools.
“In view of this gloomy picture, Government has decided on the following measures, which take immediate effect: The current Level 2 national lockdown is extended by a further two weeks, after which an appropriate review will be announced, guided by a scientific appreciation of the obtaining situation,” said President Mnangagwa.
The initial school opening day for non-examination classes was set for January 10.
“With the exception of examination classes, which resume classes as announced by the responsible ministry, the general school calendar is hereby delayed until further notice.
“Examination classes exempt from this delay are, however, expected to strictly comply with preventive public health measures,” said President Mnangagwa.
Government had earlier on deferred the first term opening day for Form 1 classes as Grade 7 results are yet to be released.
In an interview with our Harare Bureau, Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education spokesman Mr Taungana Ndoro said everything was in place for exams to proceed without hitches.
“All provinces are ready for the continuation of examinations and we anticipate that we will be able to manage the situation since the rest of the students will not be at school,” said Mr Ndoro.
He said although only those writing exams will be at school until new school calendar dates are announced, the rest of the learners should utilise digital and online learning platforms available to them.
“We are awake to the new reality so we believe online and digital learning should continue.
“We encourage the learners, especially the 2022 exam classes, to utilise the learning passport platform and the Ministry websites to get learning materials so that they continue with their studies. Learning should not stop,” said Mr Ndoro.
Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe secretary-general Mr Raymond Majongwe said although there were still outstanding issues to be resolved with regard to teachers’ welfare, the resumption of examinations would not be disturbed.
“The resumption of exams will be held smoothly as teachers will be doing their invigilation duties as usual.
“However, we are still requesting that Zimsec pay teachers for these extra duties. We hope all the outstanding issues teachers’ unions have raised will be resolved soon,” he said. – Chronicle