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Exam Paper Leakage Worries Zimbabwe Lawmaker, Teachers Union

It is exam season again in Zimbabwe’s schools from grade seven through advanced levels, and once again reports are circulating of the theft or loss of exam papers, obliging education officials to recall and reissue examinations.

Last month, ordinary level exams were stolen from a headmaster in Karoi, a town in Mashonaland West, by a man to whom he had given a ride in his car.

Kwekwe district schools failed to receive scannable exam sheets from the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council, or ZIMSEC, which oversees the exam system. So grade seven students wrote their answers on ordinary paper with teachers later transposing answers to scanner sheets, raising the possibility of alterations in the process.

The secretary general of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, Raymond Majongwe, commented recently that the exam system is deeply flawed. An official of the school examinations council, Taonashe Dube, demanded questions in writing when approached for comment about the troubled examination system.

Chitungwiza parliamentarian Fidelis Mhashu stated in the house yesterday that the continued leakage of examination papers discredits the national education system.

Mhashu,who is education spokesman for the Movement for Democratic Change faction of Morgan Tsvangirai, told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the government must address the problems at the examinations council before Zimbabwean students become discredited internationally.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...