Some Ordinary and Advanced Level students who wrote their Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (ZIMSEC) examinations last year are still waiting for their results after a mix up at the examination body.
Benoni Mugove, who was an “A” level student at Chinhoyi High 2 Secondary School, says he is still waiting for his English Literature results. Benoni wrote three subjects.
Despite paying the $10 search fee required by ZIMSEC, his results have not come. Now he fears he may need to repeat the exam as time is running out for him to submit results as part of a university application.
He says most of his former classmates are already enrolled for university education at various institutions, while he is stuck until he receives his results.
Another student, Edith Chitsa, is facing a similar problem. But according to Miss Chitsa, ZIMSEC told her that her situation cannot be helped because she was a student at a private school.
Understandably, parents are even more upset. Gladys Masenda is bitter over her son's situation. Masenda blasts ZIMSEC and the government for failing to give her child his A level results.
Masenda, a single mother, says her son will lose two years because repeating the A level syllabus may now be the only option.
While many students fail to get results, other students say they got results for subjects they never wrote.
Unfortunately, stories like this are nothing new. ZIMSEC has been criticized for years because of this and other problems associated with the exams.
ZIMSEC director Essau Nhandara blamed the Ministry of Education, Sports, Arts and Culture for failing to properly maintain and administer the entering of examinations by students.
Students register for specific subjects by using a colour code. This happens around March every year. Students then receive an examination entry form sometime in July. It is at this stage that any discrepancies between students' registrations and what is listed on the entry form can be corrected. But correcting errors is only available for students in regular public schools.
Acting permanent secretary in the education ministry, Mr. Chrispen Bowora, admitted recently that budget cutbacks over the past decade have contributed to a negative perception of the ministry, but says ZIMSEC as an organization has also faced a number of operational challenges during the period.
But overall, he defended the government’s decision to make writing the ZIMSEC exams compulsory, saying exams to demonstrate competency of ‘O” and “A” level school subjects is the worldwide standard.