|Dr Takavafira Zhou|
Teachers’ unions under the Federation of Zimbabwe Education Unions (Fozeu) welcomed the government’s decision to suspend the Zimbabwe School Examination Council (Zimsec) June ‘O’ and ‘A’ level examinations.
Government recently announced the suspension of the June exams citing the multi-layered disruptions caused by Covid-19 including delays in writing and marking of the November exams which negatively impacted the timing and the cycle of public examination.
Fozeu says pupils have not covered syllabus because of the Covid-19 induced lockdown and teachers’ incapacitation.
The organisation says merely pushing forward with writing of June exams was futile as pupils ‘cannot perform miracles’ in the exam room.
In an interview with TellZim News, Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) president Dr Takavafira Zhou said though parents were generally not receptive of the idea, it was the best thing that could be done under the circumstances.
“Parents’ complaints are understandable. They have spent a lot of money hiring private teachers to teach their children and have therefore lost money in the process. The communication must have been made in January.
He blamed government for failure to communicate the new position earlier thereby giving the false impression that June exams would continue as usual.
“Cancellation of June exams was a blessing in disguise, pupils did not cover the syllabus because of Covid-19, and pupils cannot perform miracles in examination room. It was a good move, despite the inconvenience it has caused to parents and the psychological pressure it had forced upon pupils trying to prepare for the examination.
“It was a good move, despite the inconvenience it has caused to parents and the psychological pressure it had forced upon pupils trying to prepare for the examination.
“If June exams had been allowed to continue, it would disturb preparations for November exams as schools would be used for exam purposes, and teachers for invigilation and marking,” said Zhou.
On his part, Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz) president Obert Masaraure told TellZim News that it would not have made sense to impose exams on unprepared pupils.
“Imposing examination on unprepared learners was going to be a disaster. The down time caused by both incapacitation and Covid-19 induced lockdowns is not good for our education sector,” said Masaraure.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Zimbabwe Teachers Association (Zimta) Dr Sifiso Ndlovu said the cancellation was a hard decision but it was inevitable.
“Cancellation of June exams was a hard decision but it was inevitable. It would be a waste of resources to assemble huge funds to run the examination which evidently would be a sham exercise. The government’s decision was a good move,” said Ndlovu.