‘Byo, Mat South learners lagging behind in preparing for Zimsec exams’

Learners in Bulawayo and Matabeleland South will find it difficult to prepare for their end of year examinations due to a plethora of challenges including the ongoing water crisis which has seen some schools delaying to reopen, Parliament heard.

The chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Primary and Secondary Education, Priscilla Misihairambwi-Mushonga, Thursday, raised concerns that learners in these provinces are enduring various challenges which place them at a disadvantage in terms of preparing for their final examinations. 

According to the government, learners are supposed to sit for their Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (Zimsec) examinations starting on December 1. 

Their preparation has also been hampered by the unavailability of teachers who have withdrawn their services citing low remuneration and lack of Personal Protective Equipment to protect them against COID-19.  

Misihairambwi-Mushonga said some schools on Bulawayo have deferred opening due to the unavailability of water at the learning facilities, which poses a health hazard at a time the country is fighting the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“We know that Bulawayo has a water crisis and most of the schools do not have water. What does that mean in terms of them writing the same examination on 5th December, 2020?” she queried. 

“Are we going to have different examinations for those that have not been deferred, that can write on 5th December a separate set of examination for those that have had deferment?” 

Misihairambwi-Mushonga noted that learners in Matabeleland South did not benefit from radio lessons which were conducted during the lockdown period because of lack of connectivity. 

“The Ministry had come up with the radio programme, which was the teaching programme. However, we know Matabeleland South has no connectivity, so kids did not access the radio programme because those in Matabeleland South have to use the South African system, trying to listen to the radio,” she said. 

“Again what will happen, we are now going to say those that are in other provinces that could access radio programmes are lumped together with those that are not well connected. Again, it is the issue of how we are going to give the examination, given the fact that the kids had separate access to issues.”

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