Many teachers in Zimbabwe are refusing to grade exams for the country's ordinary and advanced levels of secondary school, complaining that the Zimbabwe School Examination Council is offering them "paltry remuneration" for the task.
The examination board pays teachers Z$40 (16 U.S. cents at the official exchange rate) to correct an ordinary level exam, and Z$100 (US$0.40) to mark an advanced-level examination paper. Only advanced-level markers get accommodation (including breakfast and supper). Ordinary markers must cover their own expenses.
On average, teachers mark between fifteen and twenty scripts a day.
The examination board, known as ZIMSEC, has been dogged lately by controversy over the leakage of exam papers, resulting in cheating scandals. A board official who was contacted for comment insisted that questions be submitted in writing.
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe President Takavafira Zhou told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the government must urgently tackle what he characterized as chronic mismanagement at the board.