(Last Updated on April 7, 2021 by GERALD NCUBE)
HARARE – Cabinet says it has approved the request by the Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (ZIMSEC) to temporarily suspend the June Ordinary and Advanced Level examinations.
During the post-cabinet media briefing, information minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the decision was made due to the Covid-19 pandemic which disrupted the learning and examination cycle.
“Government received a report on the proposed suspension of the ZIMSEC June 2021 Ordinary and Advanced Level examination sessions. Cabinet considered and approved the request for the suspension of ZIMSEC June 2021 Ordinary and Advanced Level examinations and this was presented by the minister of primary and secondary education Honourable Mathema.
“Cabinet was advised that the Covid-19 pandemic which broke out in 2020 has negatively impacted on the time and cycle of public examinations with the 2020 Grade 7, ‘O’ Level and ‘A’ Level examinations having commenced in early December 2020 and ended early February 2021.
“The delay in writing and marking of the previous examinations has affected the preparations and setting of the next examination hence the decision to temporarily suspend the June 2021 examinations,” Mutsvangwa said.
Mutsvangwa said the suspension will allow for timely focus on the November examinations, adding those who planned to sit for their exams in June will be accommodated with the November candidates.
There was a public outcry after the publishing of last year’s grade 7 results which saw several schools recording 0% pass rates.
Teacher’s unions placed the blame on the government which failed to address their salary grievances resulting in teachers declaring incapacitation and not reporting for duty.
The two parties have failed to reach an agreement until now and teachers have threatened to report for work three times a week which is likely going to have a negative impact on the learners again this year.
Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic last year, learning has been significantly affected with those who cannot afford e-learning missing out more.
This year’s academic year has also been affected by the pandemic with schools having just recently reopened.