Zimsec exams complete with no Covid-19 case reported

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THE June-July Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) examinations have been completed without a Covid-19 case being reported in centres countrywide.

There was nationwide anxiety when the Government announced the examinations would go ahead. Teachers’ unions had said running them was risky and could spread the deadly virus.

However, the examinations went ahead after the Government put in place measures inline with World Health Organisation guidelines to protect candidates and invigilators.

Pupils sat for the examinations between 30 June and July 23 under Covid-19 prevention guidelines including wearing of masks, social distancing and temperature tests.

Primary and Secondary Education Minister Cain Mathema yesterday paid tribute to the national Covid-19 taskforce, the corporate sector among other organisations for providing requisite material to ensure that examinations were held in compliance to Covid-19 regulations.

He commended some schools that were selected on short notice to be used as examination centres.

“We would like to appreciate those who administered the Zimsec June Examinations at the schools in particular the school/centre heads and the invigilators who remained professional and efficient despite the difficult operating environment posed by Covid-19 pandemic. Extended gratitude goes to some centres which were not originally examination centres but stood in for schools which were being used as Government quarantine centres. Great applause goes to these centres for swiftly rising to the occasion and ensuring that the examinations were successfully undertaken,” he said.

The minister reiterated that President Mnangagwa would provide guidance on when schools would reopen as the country wants to provide a solid education foundation meeting the 21st century demands.

The Government prematurely closed schools in March as President Mnangagwa imposed measures to mitigate against the spread of Covid-19.

Schools were scheduled to reopen on July 28 but a sharp increase in Covid-19 cases resulted in the Government shelving resumption of lessons indefinitely.

However, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has been delivering lessons via radio and online platforms to ensure pupils do not regress in their studies.

“We are grateful for the continued guidance and support from His Excellency, the President Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa, as we endeavour to provide a wholesome education for all Zimbabweans during and beyond the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Minister Mathema.

He said the Ministry was striving towards providing equitable, quality, inclusive relevant and competence driven primary and secondary and non-formal education to meet 21st century needs. — Chronicle