June exams pushed back by a month

By Albert Nxumalo

Zimbabwe School Examination Council (ZIMSEC) on Friday announced the postponement of June examinations by four weeks due to the global Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. 

Schools in Zimbabwe were closed in March before the end of the first term.

That was before President Emmerson Mnangagwa declared a national lockdown as means to curb the spread of the pandemic. 

No dates for re-opening of schools has been set.

Due to the disruption on learning, the first set of public examinations which are normally taken in June have been pushed forward with Zimsec authorities not given precise dates for the exams. 

“This circular serves to advise all Heads of Examination Centres, Candidates, parents and stakeholders of National Examinations that the June 2020 Examination Time Table has been pushed forward by four (4) weeks pending advice about the re-opening of schools by the Government of Zimbabwe (GoZ),” Zimsec Director Dr Nembaware said in a circular dated 8 May. 

Nembaware said the revised examination dates will be issued as soon as confirmation of the re-opening of schools is announced. 

However, despite no conventional learning taking place, candidates are encouraged to continue preparing for the exams. 

“Heads of Examination Centres should advise all registered candidates to continue preparing for the writing of the Examination,” added the circular. 

Statements of entry for all June 2020 Candidates were despatched to all Examination Centres during the course of this week in preparation for the Examination.

The shift in the examination time table comes at a time when government is working with tertiary institutions to speed up the process of implementing electronic learning (e-learning) in response to the outbreak of COVID-19.

The education sector was hard hit after the government ordered the institutions to close as physical attendance became untenable due to the spread of the pandemic.

The shift to online learning has not been smooth for most institutions with students struggling to acquire the necessary gadgets as well having to grapple with the high cost of internet data.

On Monday, Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA), Monday, appealed to the government to stock up sanitisers, gloves and masks at schools.

Some schools are currently used as quarantine sites for Covid-19.

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