By Anna Chibamu
SCHOOLS are not ready for June ZIMSEC ‘O’ and ‘A’ Level examinations which commence this Tuesday as most centres have no personal protective equipment (PPEs) and sanitisers.
This was the conclusion made by the Primary and Education Parliamentary Portfolio Committee members Monday.
Committee members received evidence from education ministry secretary, Tumisang Thabela, on government’s preparedness for the June ZIMSEC exams and reopening of schools in July.
However, after the top government official’s submissions, the MPs raised concerns over the lack of preparedness by the education ministry to conduct the final examinations.
“I was in my constituency Bikita South for two days assessing progress on preparations for exams. There are a number of challenges such as fuel challenges. Schools are not accessible due to lack of fuel,” Bikita South MP Josiah Sithole said.
“Some officials could not make it for training which took place. Nothing has been done regarding disinfecting of most of these schools. Again there is no water. The situation on the ground is not what the officials from the ministry are telling us,” he added.
Gokwe-Sasame MP Gorden Chanda said 11 schools in his constituency had not received required Covid-19 equipment and chemicals for disinfecting the schools including sanitisers.
Tonderayi Moyo Gokwe-Chireya constituency raised concerns over lack of travel permits for candidates while invigilators had not undergone any training.
“Since we only have today (Monday), is it not too late for exams to take place? The other thing is do you have test kits for all provinces? How many face masks will be provided for each candidate? Some do not have timetables, Bulawayo, Harare and Midlands provinces do not have enough thermometers. Are they going to be provided on time?” Moyo queried.
However, Thabela said her ministry was in the process of procuring and distributing the required material.
“Our budget was released on Tuesday and we started purchasing and procuring and running with things on Thursday. Our situation is changing every minute. As we sit, thermometers are being collected from ministries of health and local government and things are happening very fast,” she said.
Giving evidence before the committee, junior parliamentarians also expressed displeasure over government’s plans to let them write examinations yet teachers at most public schools have since the beginning of the year not conducting any lessons in protest over low salaries and poor working conditions.