Tuesday, 18 March 2014

No leniency on exam cheats

Government will not be lenient on the 680 candidates from nine schools in the Midlands who were linked to the leaking of two Ordinary Level examination question papers last year, a Cabinet Minister said yesterday.

Primary and Secondary Education Minister, Dr Lazarus Dokora told Chronicle that government was taking the matter seriously.

He said ministry investigators were putting the issue under the microscope in liaison with officials from the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) and the police to bring culprits into book.

The results of up to 680 candidates were withheld after 2013 Geography Paper 2 and Integrated Science Paper 2 were allegedly leaked in Gweru and Kwekwe.

No leniency on exam cheats
Dr Dokora said the investigations would not be waived adding that candidates or teachers who will be found guilty will face the music.

"It is not a matter for saying, well, should there be some waiver of the process of investigation, let us be lenient on the students and so on," said Dr Dokora in an interview on the sidelines of the Southern African Association for Educational Assessment (SAAEA) strategic workshop for chief executive officers of SAAES examination councils in Victoria Falls.

He added: "If anything, going forward, we expect that as we align the Education Act, and Zimsec Act and the New Constitution any candidate anywhere, if they smell a rat or suspect that there might be some breach to the examination process, they should do the normal thing and report to the nearest police station. Such acts will . . . be given stiffer penalty."

Dr Dokora said the investigators were tracing the matter to its logical conclusion.

"We feel that there is no point to hide the process or protect it in anyway. The process must be allowed to take its normal course and be concluded and details of the process would be availed," he said.

The minister said government will not be deterred from weeding out corruption in schools.

A school head at Njeremoto Secondary in Sesombe Resettlement area in Zhombe, Vimbai Manaka (39), and five teachers from different schools in Kwekwe Urban and Gweru were recently arrested.

Among the affected centres were Marathon Academy, Mbizo, Manunure, Amaveni, Kwekwe, Mambo, Zesa Munyati and Chituripasi secondary schools.

There have been concerns on whether or not government would reset the papers to cater for the affected candidates.

In November 2013, a Zimsec official said such a decision would be made after conclusion of the investigations.

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