Zimbabwe legislators press Ministry of Education to clarify how private students will be assessed for exams


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Members of Parliament have asked the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to come up with a ministerial statement on how this year’s examinations will be conducted especially in view of the incorporation of the Continuous Assessment Learning Activities in the final examination mark for pupils.

The legislators were particularly worried about how this would apply to private and external students.

Deputy Minister Edgar Moyo said private and external candidates were advised to link up and connect with the schools where they are registered so that they can be given the necessary activities to undertake and take them to those schools for marking, recording and capturing of those marks for transmission to the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (ZIMSEC).

“Continuous assessment is not a new phenomenon in the education sector. It has always been there, albeit limited only to practical subjects,” he said.

“We are merely extending it to all the other subjects and the idea is not to punish children by examining them and looking for what they do not know but taking into account their performances during the course of the learning period so that we do not sacrifice – I said in this Parliament a few weeks ago that children attend primary school for nine years and then you subject them to one and half hours to determine what they learnt all in nine years of primary education.

“So we are saying let us take on board their performances from time to time so that they contribute a percentage to the final mark.”

Parliament adjourned to 7 October when President Emmerson Mnangagwa will present his State of the Nation Address and open the fourth session of the ninth Parliament.

Below is the full debate on forthcoming examinations:

HON. NDUNA: My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education insofar as it relates to examinations for the children who have started school. What is Government’s position relating to the examinations that are going to be conducted irrespective of the fact that schools have been closed but the examination dates have not been moved in respect of the proclamation by Government, of the dates of the examination for the children both in primary and secondary school ‘O’ and ‘A’ level?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON E. MOYO): The examination dates have only been given insofar as when they are going to begin and that is end of November for Grade Sevens. Mid December, we are going to have the ‘O’ and ‘A’ levels which are going to overlap into 2022. Insofar as the point that children have lost time, we are employing catch up strategies to ensure that the children do catch up and one of them is through blended learning where we are using different learning and teaching platforms. Inclusive of that is going to be materials that are going to be given to children and some of them have not been given those materials and e-learning so that they do catch-up.

Insofar as the dates, we are starting with Grade Sevens end of November and then overlapping into 2022 for the ‘O’ and ‘A’ level examinations. We think our children would have been prepared for examinations by that time. I thank you.

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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