THE Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (Zimsec) says it has no plans to order the rewriting of three leaked Ordinary Level examination papers despite that this may dent the reputation of the country’s education system.
While Zimsec says only three papers were leaked, there are speculative reports that the examination paper leaks may have involved more papers.
Over 100 pupils and Zimsec officials from different parts of the country have been arrested in connection with the leak of Zimsec “O” Level Mathematics Papers 1 and 2, and English Paper 2.
Teachers unions have been piling pressure on Zimsec to prepare for the rewriting of the papers, arguing that the leaked papers were circulating on social media which could point to “extensive” leaks.
Zimsec spokesperson Nicholette Dlamini said the examination body was carrying out investigations to determine whether the extent of the leaks warranted rewriting.
“We have not yet come up with the decision for rewriting the leaked papers,” Dlamini said.
“The decision for a rewrite will come up after establishing how far the exposure to the leak s was, and so the process is still underway.”
In a statement last Friday, Zimsec said the examination results for the students who were nabbed would be nullified.
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“Candidates who had pre-access to question papers at different examination centres, were identified. As a result of the investigations, some candidates, examination administrators and members of the public have been arrested and have appeared before the courts. Examination centre administrators who were the source of the leaks were apprehended together with their distribution networks. Candidates, who had pre-access to the question paper, continue to be identified in line with the Zimsec Act, section 34 and will have their examination results cancelled,” the Zimsec statement read.
Former Education minister David Coltart told NewsDay that the extent of the leaks warranted rewriting of the examinations.
“The admission that the leaks are widespread is a cause for concern,” Coltart said. “It undermines the integrity of the entire examination system. It shows that the security of the entire system is flawed and it will result in stakeholders losing confidence in the results. If there are over a hundred pupils who have been arrested over the leaks, Zimsec has no choice, but to nullify the papers and arrange rewriting of the examinations.”
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe secretary-general Raymond Majongwe said: “Zimsec should engage other stakeholders to address this challenge. There are serious internal problems haunting Zimsec and they do not need a piecemeal solution.”
Zimbabwe Teachers Association secretary-general Goodwill Taderera said the evidence of leaks alone requires Zimsec to rerun the examinations.
“The examinations were shared on social media and some had printed copies of the leaked papers. The whole system is in jeopardy and only a rewrite will clear the air. There is not much evidence that is needed to convince Zimsec to arrange for a rewrite of the examinations,” Taderera said.
Zimbabwe National Union of School Heads secretary-general Munyaradzi Majoni said: “Zimsec should be able to deal with the issue in a manner that does not compromise public confidence. We believe as school heads that the examination body is capable of assessing the extent of the leaks. Whatever outcome that Zimsec comes up with, it should not compromise its integrity.”
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