GOVERNMENT has ordered more than 260 000 candidates to retake the Zimbabwe School Examination Council (Zimsec) November 2017 Ordinary Level English Language Paper 2 on February 16 because of widespread cheating.
BY OBEY MANAYITI/TINOTENDA MUNYEKE
Addressing journalists in Harare yesterday, Primary and Secondary Education minister Paul Mavima said results for the leaked paper had been nullified after it was observed that many candidates had seen it before the examination.
“The November 2017 Ordinary Level English Language Paper 2 examination will be retaken on February 16, 2018 from 10am to 12 noon,” he said.
“All results for the November 2017 English Language Paper 2 have been nullified.
“This follows the widespread cheating in this paper, exacerbated by social media, and identified during the November 2017 examination session.”
Mavima said all candidates should sit for the examination at their original examination centres and no examination fee would be paid for the resit.
He said marking and release of the results would be done in time for Form 5 students’ enrolment.
“Over 260 000 sat for the exam, the ministry will come up with ways in which they can be compensation for the time lost for those learners who are proceeding to Lower 6,” Mavima said.
“After the exam is written, the marking has to be done efficiently, so that we can integrate the results from paper two into the overall results. Then the ministry can work out the modalities to make sure that we compensate for the time lost.”
Over the years, Zimsec’s reputation has been sullied as reports of exam paper leaks have become widespread.
Mavima said they had ordered a resit because they wanted to preserve the examinations body’s integrity.
“In the final analysis, the decision has been necessitated by the need to maintain and preserve the integrity of the national examination system,” he said.
“Members of our society who continue to involve themselves in examination malpractice risk prosecution and candidates risk nullification of their results.”
Zimsec chairperson Eddie Mwenje said they were putting in place stringent measures to secure all future examination papers.
“We are actually seized, at the moment, with looking at the issues of security across the value chain because we are living in a technological world of social media where one leak from one person can actually go across the world in seconds,” he said.
Reports indicate there was no cohesion at the two main departments at Zimsec – examination administration and test development – and this saw the early sitting of November 2017 exams going unsupervised.
“The general administration is responsible for printing, distribution and writing, while the test development is responsible for setting and marking,” a source said.
“These two departments are stepping into each other’s mandate and that has created a lot of friction and has literally made Zimsec absent from supervising exams, especially for the first two weeks.”