The Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) has sent its management on forced leave with immediate effect to allow an uninterrupted audit to take place at the examinations board. Zimsec board chairman Professor Eddie Mwenje made the announcement at a Press conference in Harare yesterday.
“The Zimsec board takes this opportunity to assure its valued stakeholders that the examination board is totally committed to the elimination of all forms of examination malpractice and is currently in the process of thoroughly auditing its examination systems,” he said.
“To facilitate the aforesaid thorough audit of the examination system, the board has asked the director, deputy director and five assistant directors to go on leave with immediate effect.” Those sent on leave pending retirement are the director Mr Esau Nhandara and deputy director Mr J. C. Maramba.
Assistant director (human resources) Mr J. Thabete was given three months leave pending him leaving Zimsec, while assistant director (test development and research evaluation) Mrs Mashingaidze, assistant director (examinations administration) Mr V. T Mguni, assistant director (ICT) Mr V. Kadenge and assistant director (finance) Ms Z. Muzenda are now on indefinite leave pending audit of the examination system.
Prof Mwenje said to ensure uninterrupted flow of business at Zimsec, the board had appointed Dr Lazarus Nembaware as the acting director with immediate effect.
Mrs T Marufu, the current corporate affairs secretary was appointed acting deputy director and head of human resources and administration.
“The following acting appointments had also been made: assistant director ICT Mrs C Chinonzo; assistant director test development research and evaluation Mrs E Masiri; and assistant director – examinations administration – Mr M. B Dzinotyiwei,” said Prof Mwenje.
Prof Mwenje apologised to the nation for the poor handling of the examinations system. “From the outset, the Zimsec board apologises to the nation for the anxiety and disappointment occasioned by the November 2017 Ordinary Level English Language examination malpractices,” he said.
“The board is committed to upholding the standards, integrity and credibility of our schools examination system.”
Prof Mwenje welcomed the High Court’s ruling on the matter.
“The Zimsec board takes note and appreciates the High Court of Zimbabwe’s decision to annul the November 2017 Ordinary Level, English Language Paper 2 results,” he said.
“The court’s decision is on all fours with the Zimsec board’s position that the high standards of our country’s education system must never be compromised by tainted examination results.”
Prof Mwenje said the culprits had since been brought before the courts of law. “We inform the nation that some of the culprits that allegedly caused the malpractices during the November 2017 examination session have been brought before the courts of law,” he said.
“In compliance with the High Court ruling, Zimsec will have to assess November 2017 Ordinary Level candidates English Language linguistic competence on the basis of Paper 1 performance, its attendant shortcomings notwithstanding.”
Prof Mwenje announced the scheduled date for the release of the results.
“Stakeholders are advised that the November 2017 Ordinary Level results are now scheduled for release by the 23rd of February 2018,” he said.