Govt vows to proceed with public exam despite teachers concerns

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By William Milasi

GOVERNMENT has vowed to proceed with the November Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (ZIMSEC) final Science practical examinations as scheduled despite demands by a teachers group to suspend sitting due to inadequate preparation among candidates.

Primary and Secondary Education Minister Paul Mavima told the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (ZIMSEC) is prepared to administer not only science but all the examinations.

Last month, the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) called on ZIMSEC to suspend the final science practical paper arguing that some schools were being forced to go ahead without even a single laboratory.

The vocal teachers group said there was a shortage of competent personnel to teach the practical subject while citing inadequate science laboratories and basic shortage of learning materials amongst other hiccups.

The union has, therefore, “recommended that ZIMSEC suspends combined science practical exams for November 2018 and revert back to the alternative practical paper.”

The basic education Minister however thinks otherwise.

“Such fears are unfounded that the science examination practical paper is not well catered for. Such kind of talk that the examinations must be suspended is only aimed at sowing despondence,” Mavima said.

The cabinet minister however admitted that there are some schools in the rural areas where laboratories were non-existent.

“It is true that in some schools in the rural areas laboratories might not exist in the physical form but science material will be available. As government, we have disbursed science kits in schools which contain all the requisite science apparatus.

“We are also going to avail all the needed material to all the schools during the times of examinations. Every school, especially those in the rural areas, will be given science kits.

“Examinations are therefore going ahead as scheduled. We sat down with ZIMSEC and some technocrats and we mapped the way forward on how the examinations will be administered,” he said.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education was this week quoted in a national daily saying pupils were appealing to President Emmerson Mnangagwa for the suspension of the 2008 November public examinations.

The pupils are arguing that they had not fully prepared due to disturbances caused by electoral processes.