Pupils have appealed to President Mnangagwa for the suspension of the 2018 November public examinations, saying they will not have fully prepared due to disturbances caused by elections, especially the absence of teachers on Zimbabwe Electoral Commission duties.
This was revealed by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Dr Sylvia Utete-Masango in Victoria Falls recently.
She said pupils had appealed to President Mnangagwa, when he met Child Parliamentarians in Harare recently, to suspend the end of year exams because teachers were hardly in school conducting ZEC activities.
Forms Four and Form Six classes are the ones that write public examinations.
“When the Head of State had an opportunity to interact with Child Parliamentarians, they tried to convince him to suspend the November examinations,” she said. “Yes, it came from them. They said Your Excellency, we plead with you to suspend the November examinations because all our teachers have gone to the ZEC activities.
“There are no teachers. We have had a short term and there hasn’t been quality learning. These were your pupils talking to the President.”
Dr Utete-Masango was speaking at the National Association of Secondary Heads conference recently. She did not reveal how the President responded to the request by the pupils.
Schools will close on Thursday July 26, to accommodate the harmonised elections set for July 30.
The third term will open a week early on September 4, to ensure that pupils are not disadvantaged.
The second term opened on May 8 and was supposed to end on August 9.
Dr Utete-Masango said each school should come up with a programme for the holiday, but in liaison with district and provincial officials.
“As for the timetable, we are going to lose 10 working days so we had to try and find a way of making up for the lost time,” she said. “This means we will be opening early.
“Some schools will try and come up with measures to ensure that learners are not disadvantaged and this can be through holiday lessons.”
Dr Utete-Masango said once a school comes up with a holiday lessons programme, communication should be made to the Ministry through the district and provincial offices.