ZIMSEC exam markers complain over payment delays

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

TEACHERS are considering putting in place a committee that will negotiate examiners’ contracts with the Zimbabwe Schools Examinations Council (ZIMSEC).

The decision follows delays by ZIMSEC to pay marking fees.

To date, teachers who marked last year ‘s Grade seven, Advanced and Ordinary level examinations are yet to be paid.

The markers claim they were promised payment soon after completing the job but the promise has not been honoured.

Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) president, Takavafira Zhou accused ZIMSEC of engaging in unfair labour practices.

“ZIMSEC is perpetuating cold, callous and calculated labour vandalism that ultimately will affect the credibility of our examination system, as more qualified and experienced examiners may not call for the marking exercise in future due to frustration.

“Teachers are workers too, with rights that must be respected by anyone who wants their services. Even the line Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education and government must intervene and call ZIMSEC to order,” said Zhou.

Zhou said markers are contemplating engaging ZIMSEC over this perennial issue.

“Teachers are also considering putting in place a committee that should engage ZIMSEC on behalf of markers, and ensure that they are paid their dues by the time they finish marking, as ZIMSEC cannot be trusted to pay teachers timeously once they complete the marking exercise.

“Worse still, the longer ZIMSEC takes without paying teachers, the more teachers are short changed as inflation is running riot on the peanuts that they are paid,” he said.

According to Zhou, when teachers completed marking last year, the market rate was less than ZW$165 but now it is over ZW$400.

According to the markers, each person is supposed to be paid ZW$15 per script.

Approximately, each person was supposed to mark about 500 scripts.

The examination body only paid ZW$46 000 allowances.

This year’s grade seven examinations were written in December due to the outbreak of Covid-19.

Marking of the examinations started soon after Christmas and ended on 20 January.

ZIMSEC spokesperson, Nicky Dhlamini, was not reachable for comment.