Lawmakers on Thursday urged the Zimbabwe Schools Examinations Council (ZIMSEC) to affiliate to a local reputable institution of higher learning such as the University of Zimbabwe to ensure the credibility of local secondary education examinations.
Introducing a motion on examinations in the National Assembly, lawmaker Never Khanye of Matobo North said affiliating to a university would ensure both studies and tests are adequately monitored and are of high international standards.
Before their localization in 1994, examinations in Zimbabwe were run by the Education ministry and the United Kingdom's Cambridge Local Examination Syndicate.
Khanye said ZIMSEC examinations have been plagued by rampant leakages thereby compromising its credibility.
Contributing to debate, Bikita West lawmaker, Munyaradzi Kereke, said the leakage of examination papers was not a direct result of ZIMSEC's non affiliation to a university but was linked to problems with the production and distribution of materials and lack of resources.
Kereke said the government must mobilize financial resources to ensure the smooth-running of examinations, adding this would also help upgrade the education sector.
Chairperson of the education portfolio committee and Hurungwe West lawmaker, Themba Mliswa, supported the motion saying the education ministry, through ZIMSEC, must tighten control on the administration of examinations to plug leakages.
He said the production of examination material is haphazard resulting in the serious leakages.
Mliswa said there is need for ZIMSEC to set up an examination center that would be responsible for the production of examination material.
He noted that the center could also be used by other countries in the region and in turn raise money for ZIMSEC.
Leakages of examinations were rare prior to the localization in 1994. Several teachers have been arrested or fired for leaking examination papers.
Former Education Minister Edmund Garwe resigned in the late nineties after his daughter was found with leaked Zimbabwe Junior Examinations council examination papers.
Some public and private schools have reverted to Cambridge examinations due to the declining credibility in ZIMSEC examinations.