By Tapiwa Marume
On the 8th of February 2018 the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education (MoPSE) Hon Prof Paul Mavima announced during a press conference at the Ministry’s offices in Harare that the November 2017 Ordinary Level English Paper 2 is scheduled to be retaken next week on Friday the 16th of February 2018 commencing at 10am to 12 midday.
On his address he pointed out this follows nullification of all results of the November 2017 English Language Paper 2 due to widespread cheating after a leakage that went viral on social media.
“I regret the inconvenience and general stakeholder disaffection that this decision will cause. I would want to emphasize that this drastic decision has been arrived at after painstaking and agonizing consideration. In the final analysis the decision has been necessitated by the need to maintain and preserve the integrity of the National Examination System”, he said.
He advised candidates who sat for the November 2017 English paper to report on Friday 16 February 2018 at 10am to their original 2017 Examination Centers in order to write the Examination. He said the more than 7 days notice afforded candidates ample time to prepare and travel to Examination Centers.
The Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (ZIMSEC) board chairman Prof Mweni pointed out that this particular case was a result of an individual who leaked the paper and it spread across the country via social media. He further pointed out the anomaly was detected first by their marking system and reliable analysis revealed the extent of cheating and where examination procedures had been flawed.
Consequently, the release of the 2017 Ordinary Level results has been shelved until the English Language Paper 2 has been taken, marked and integrated a process ZIMSEC aims to complete in a week.
No final figures are available yet as to how much it will cost government to accomplish this whole process.
For learners proceeding to lower 6 Prof Mavima said the ministry would look for ways to compensate for time lost because of this exercise meant to retain confidence within the National Examination System.
Candidates who have been notified of cancellation of results because of cheating during the 2017 Examinations in these 2 categories: (i) all subjects and (ii) English Language only are prohibited from re-writing this English Language Paper 2 on Friday next week. This also includes all those who were prosecuted and sentenced for this crime.
The Permanent Secretary (MoPSE) Dr S Utete, Peter Muzavazi Principal Director (MoPSE), Mr Nhandara (Dir, ZIMSEC) and the ZiMSEC Board Chairman attended the press conference.