By Ndatenda Njanike
THE Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA) has urged government to postpone the writing of this year’s June and November Zimbabwe Schools Examinations Council (ZIMSEC) tests until the coronavirus outbreak is brought under control.
In a statement, ZIMTA said it was important for government to consider postponing the two exams in light of the pandemic.
“ZIMTA is calling on the government of Zimbabwe to consider postponing the sitting of June and November examinations until a well-informed analysis of the impact of COVID-19 has been done,” the teachers’ body said.
“During this time of lockdown, the Association has documented all sorts of complaints against the ZIMSEC administration, whose directives to teachers seem to work against the rules of the current lockdown which Zimbabwe is in.
“Some teachers are currently in a dilemma over following Zimbabwe’s lockdown or ZIMSEC’s directives, which for example require that teachers to travel to the nearest centres to administer registering processes for June exams as soon as they can. In some cases, heads of schools are also calling teachers to travel to school offices to attend to frivolous charges and disciplinary hearings,” ZIMTA said.
Although the association applauded the government on steps it had taken to curb the spread of the deadly virus and protect the lives of Zimbabweans, ZIMTA said when schools open for the second term, there was need to ensure that every school had test kits in stock.
“Critical to attaining quality public education, is the learners’ welfare. In light of this observation, the association is calling on the responsible authorities to ensure that when schools reopen, COVID-19 testing kits are provided and mandatory in all schools for use by government trained teachers who shall work alongside health-care givers to curtail the spread and re-infections of the virus at source,” said ZIMTA.