All systems are in place for the resumption of the 2021 Zimsec examinations after a two-week break over the Christmas and New Year holidays.
President Mnangagwa last week announced the indefinite deferment of the school calendar with the exception of examination classes which open today.
Ordinary and Advanced Level candidates in boarding institutions returned to school yesterday with day scholars expected back in class today to sit the first examination after the break.
The rest of the classes were supposed to resume on January 10, a week after the examination classes.
The move to delay the opening of schools for the rest of the classes was necessitated by the increase in Covid-19 cases over the past few weeks.
New opening dates will be announced once Government has scientific evidence that it is safe to do so. Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education spokesman Mr Taungana Ndoro said everything was in place for the examinations to proceed without hitches.
“All provinces are ready for the continuation of examinations and we anticipate that we will be able to manage the situation since the rest of the students will not be in school,”
He said although only those writing exams will be in school until new school calendar dates are announced, the rest of the learners should utilise digital and online learning platforms available to them.
“We are awake to the new reality so we believe online and digital learning should continue. We encourage the learners, especially the 2022 exam classes, to utilise the learning passport platform and the ministry websites to get learning materials so that they continue with their studies. Learning should not stop,” said Mr Ndoro.
Over the past two years, the school calendar has been disrupted necessitating the introduction of online learning.
However, due to expensive data charges and connectivity challenges in most areas, many learners were not able to access online learning platforms.
Despite the challenges, parents indicated that they were happy that their children were going back to finish their examinations.
Mr Action Chikonzo, whose child is in Form Four at Mavhudzi High School said most parents were prepared for the reopening of schools hence there were no challenges.
“The move to have children going back to continue with exams is good because they are supposed to finish the remaining papers. The process has been smooth since the number of learners travelling are low and they are manageable. We hope they will be successful in their exams because they have worked hard,” he said.
Another parent, Mrs Lynette Ganagana also said parents were prepared for the return to school by learners hence they had not experienced any challenges.
Said Mr Linneck Marozva: “Everything is going well. We were all aware of how the school calendar was affected by Covid-19, so this is the reason the children are going to finish their exams now so we were prepared. Almost every parent paid school fees so we don’t expect any delays.”
Although learners had very little time for face to face lessons last year because of the lockdown measures, most students said they were prepared for the remaining exam papers.
“The past year was difficult because of Covid-19 but we managed to complete it and we are now going back to finish our exams. It has been a busy year but we have been preparing for the final exams through online lessons and I think we will manage,” said Kudakwashe Chikovo, a Form Four learner at Ruya Adventist High School.
He said he had utilised the two-week break over Christmas and New Year to study for the remaining papers.
“The only challenge we had was poor network connectivity which sometimes disturbed our studies online. However, I am confident that I will pass.”
Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe secretary Mr Raymond Majongwe said although there were still outstanding issues to be resolved with regards to teachers’ welfare, the resumption of examinations would not be disturbed.
“The resumption of exams will be held smoothly as teachers will be doing their invigilation duties as usual. However, we are still requesting that Zimsec should pay teachers for these extra duties. We hope all the outstanding issues teachers’ unions have raised will be resolved soon,” he said.