The country’s biggest teachers union, Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA), has called for Ordinary Level and Advanced Level Zimbabwe Schools Examinations Council (ZIMSEC) examinations to be postponed.
ZIMTA has called on the government to postpone the June and November 2020 Zimsec exams due to the disruption in learning which has been caused by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
The teachers union expressed its displeasure after ZIMSEC summoned headmasters and other school officials to come and process exam registration material for students, despite the ongoing 21-day mandatory national lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Currently, Zimbabwe has recorded 10 official cases of the coronavirus, with one death resulting from these cases.
Below is the full statement which ZIMTA released on Monday calling for the ZIMSEC exams to be postponed. zim247 News is publishing the statement in its entirety below,
ZIMBABWE TEACHERS’ ASSOCIATION (ZIMTA)
PRESS RELEASE / 06 APRIL / 2020
ZIMSEC EXAMINATIONS 2020 AND THE COVID- 19 PANDEMIC
The Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (ZIMTA), applauds the President of Zimbabwe, the Government of Zimbabwe and all Zimbabweans, for heeding to the Lock-Down Call and all current efforts from various stakeholders that are aimed at stopping the spread of COVID -19 amongst ordinary Zimbabweans.
We are confident that the current efforts of stopping further infections of COVID 19 will not go to waste. However, there is an observation that there seem to be some Government departments which seem to be flouting, the LockDown regulations with impunity, and this has become a cause for concern for members of the Teaching fraternity.
During this time of Lock- Down, the Association has documented all sorts of complaints against, the ZIMSEC administration, whose directives to Teachers seem to work against the rules of the current LOCK_ Down which Zimbabwe is in. Some Teachers are currently In a dilemma over following the rules of Zimbabwe’s Lock down or ZIMSEC directives, which for example require that teachers travel to their nearest centres to administer registering processes for June exams as soon as they can. In some cases, Heads of Schools are also calling teachers to travel to School offices to attend to frivolous charges and disciplinary hearings? ( all this happening during Lock-Down period ?)
Furthermore, Educators just like the rest of Zimbabweans are under distress from the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic. Learners have had to adjust to long-distance learning. Just as it is uncertain of what the effects of COVID 19 will be on Zimbabweans, so it is also for Educators who are being hurried to register students for June exams by ZIMSEC, by all means necessary.
In reference to the above, therefore, ZIMTA is calling on the government of Zimbabwe to consider postponing the sitting of June and November examinations until a well-informed analysis of the impact of COVID 19 has been done.
In the advent of long-distance learning, which some schools have adopted, we call upon government to ensure that Teachers’ Jobs continue to be protected during and after the COVID 19 pandemic. It is critical for government to provide and protect Qualified Teachers who will remain key ingredients to the provision of quality public education in Zimbabwe.
Critical to attaining quality Public Education is the Learners’ welfare. In light of this observation, the Association is calling on the responsible authorities to ensure, that as schools re-open, COVID -19 Testing kits are provided and mandatory in ALL schools, for use by government-trained teachers who shall work alongside health-care givers to curtail the spread and re-infections of the virus at source.
As Educators, we stand ready to work with the government of Zimbabwe in combating and eradicating the COVID 19 Pandemic, amongst Educators, Learners and Parents. Educators look forward to the government’s support in achieving this vital goal.
ZIMSEC is yet to comment on the latest development. However, only last week, ZIMSEC said that examinations would go on as planned unless the government issued a directive postponing or cancelling the examinations.
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