Zim­sec ropes po­lice in school ex­ams

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - FRONT PAGE - Natasha Kokai

THE Zim­babwe School Ex­am­i­na­tions Coun­cil (Zim­sec) has in­tro­duced ro­bust mea­sures to curb exam pa­per leak­ages and will en­list the ser­vices of the po­lice to safe­guard exam ma­te­rial in the forth­com­ing 2018 schools ex­am­i­na­tions, The Sun­day Mail has es­tab­lished.

Grade Seven pupils be­gin ex­am­i­na­tions to­mor­row, with Or­di­nary and Ad­vanced Level stu­dents start­ing on Oc­to­ber 15 and 16, re­spec­tively.

It is also un­der­stood that the schools ex­am­i­na­tion mother body is cur­rently in­stalling a se­cure print­ing press.

Last week, Zim­sec pub­lic re­la­tions man­ager Ms Nicky Dh­lamini said the po­lice, Zim­sec of­fi­cials and schools’ staff would jointly pro­vide se­cu­rity for the exam papers.

Po­lice spokesper­son As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner Paul Ny­athi yes­ter­day said he was yet to check on the is­sue of po­lice in­volve­ment.

He said: “I have to check with the po­lice records first and will give you feed­back on Mon­day.”

Zim­babwe has in the past years wit­nessed an in­crease in ex­am­i­na­tion cheat­ing. This has been com­pro­mis­ing the coun­try’s ed­u­ca­tion stan­dards.

Ms Dh­lamini said this year, exam papers will be col­lected from cen­ters on the day of the ex­am­i­na­tion, with writ­ten scripts col­lected just af­ter the end of the ex­am­i­na­tion.

She said: “We will de­liver ques­tion papers to ex­am­i­na­tion clus­ter cen­tres, which hold the ma­te­rial for a num­ber of cen­tres. An­swer scripts will all be col­lected soon af­ter an ex­am­i­na­tion and for­warded to the clus­ter cen­tres.

“On the day of the ex­am­i­na­tion, heads of schools will col­lect ex­am­i­na­tion ques­tion

papers from clus­ter cen­tres.

“Cen­tres that are far from clus­ter cen­tres will be ac­corded a sin­gle cen­tre stor­age sta­tus. They will be manned by a sim­i­lar per­son­nel — that is Zim­sec, po­lice and lo­cal school staff.”

How­ever, Ms Dh­lamini said those in charge at exam cen­tres will only have ac­cess to ques­tion papers in the morn­ing of the ex­am­i­na­tion.

On the is­sue of print­ing the ex­am­i­na­tion papers, Ms Dh­lamini said, “The print­ing of ques­tion papers for a na­tional ex­am­i­na­tion in any coun­try must be done in a se­cure place us­ing ef­fi­cient ma­chin­ery. The print­ing of our ques­tion papers out­side the coun­try is meant to en­sure we com­plete the in­stal­la­tion of our own se­cure print­ing press.

“The in­stal­la­tion of a se­cure sys­tem for na­tional ex­am­i­na­tions is a na­tional pri­or­ity which needs sup­port from all the stake­hold­ers within the ex­am­i­na­tions sec­tor. In that re­gard, re­sources have been made avail­able.”

Ms Dh­lamini said each ex­am­i­na­tion cen­tre will now in­clude ex­ter­nal in­vig­i­la­tors from other schools.

She said Zim­sec might also de­ploy su­per in­vig­i­la­tors from its of­fices to su­per­vise the con­duct of the ex­ams.

Last year recorded ex­am­i­na­tion pa­per leak­ages that re­sulted in the nul­li­fi­ca­tion of English Pa­per 2 re­sults.

The scan­dal re­sulted in the sus­pen­sion of seven top Zim­sec of­fi­cials, in­clud­ing for­mer di­rec­tor Mr Esau Nhan­dara.

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