Press Statement 291215
29 December 2015
The issue of the examination grades was raised by a notably incensed writer, who signed as Upenyu, in daily publication ‘The Newsday’ dated 28 December 2015. In the article the writer alleged that the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Honourable L D K Dokora has, and we quote, ‘ totally annihilated Zimbabwe’s education standards’ by lowering the grades of the Grade 7, Ordinary Level and Advanced Level examinations, therefore the ‘Zimsec pass rates that have been recorded of late are fake’.
Since the inception of ZIMSEC in 1996, to date, there has never been a Minister of Primary and Secondary Education or as they were previously known, Minister of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture, who has ever had the ability (or attempted) to dictate the grades or contribute to the grading of examinations which are the sole mandate of the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council.
The Council has an Examinations Committee which is chaired by a Vice Chancellor of a State University, who is also the Vice Chairman of the Zimsec Board. The committee sets the standards and considers the quality of our examinations, after which recommendations are made to the main board and discussed before being adopted. The issue of grading is part of their mandate and remains as such.
The Council’s mission is to provide “The quality assessment of candidates’ learning/performance and awarding of nationally and internationally recognized certificates at different levels of the school education system, while optimally utilizing the Human and Material resources available to it.” We take this responsibility very seriously as we understand that the future of the nation’s workforce depends on the correct and honest assessment of the education system and the products thereof.
The letter and its contents represent a serious professional ignorance and irresponsibility with regard to the National Examinations in Zimbabwe.
E. S NHANDARA
ZIMBABWE SCHOOL EXAMINATIONS COUNCIL