Wednesday, 12 November 2014

New rules to plug exam paper leaks says Minister Dr Lazarus Dokora

Susan Nyabunze and Ruth Chipayi
SCHOOL heads have been barred from handling examination papers in the wake of the leakage of four exam papers that have prompted a nationwide re-sit at a cost of over $1 million.

All examination papers will now be under the custody of examination officers that the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council will appoint and deploy at each school to curb leakages which threaten to tarnish the country’s highly regarded education system.

Primary and Secondary Education Minister Dr Lazarus Dokora made the announcement yesterday.

The announcement came as Zimsec yesterday said the re-set November 2014 Ordinary Level English papers 1 and 2 and Mathematics papers 1 and 2 will now be re-written from November 24 to November 27 after the original papers leaked at a school in the Midlands Province.

Zimsec said in a statement that English Paper 1 will be written on Monday November 24, while Paper 2 was set for Wednesday November 26.

Mathematics Paper 1 will be written on Tuesday November 25 and Paper 2 has been slated for Thursday November 27.

“Replacement question papers will be dispatched to centres via the respective Zimsec regional offices,” said Zimsec.
Minister Dokora
The replacement of papers came after a headmaster, a cook and four teachers from Whata Secondary School in Gweru connived and put the papers for sale at a cost of $40 each.

The crew has since been arrested.

Minister Dokora said as a precaution measure, Government would appoint school examination officers in all the provinces who would be responsible for handling examination material.

He said the appointment of examination officers would reduce chances of examination paper leakage.

“We shall appoint examination officers at each school in every province to avoid leaking of examination papers and supervision should be done extensively in the ministry,” he said.

“Lack of supervision in the school and at provincial levels has caused breach of security by allowing leakage of examination, therefore, no headmaster will be responsible for any examination material henceforth.”

Minister Dokora said that re-running of the leaked examination papers was costly to Government.

“Leakage of examination papers is very costly as it requires more than $1 million just to re-run the examination papers and not only does that cost the ministry, but it also tarnishes the country’s education system,” he said.

After the re-placement was announced yesterday, candidates who had adequately prepared for the examinations took to the social media platform and expressed their disappointment at the inconvenience.

Zimsec on Tuesday stated that re-placement of leaked papers was unavoidable as it was crucial in guaranteeing the credibility and integrity of the examination system.

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