School heads have blamed the Zimbabwe School Examination Council (ZIMSEC) for recurring exam leakages that have undermined the integrity of the country’s public examinations.
ZIMSEC itself has confirmed the leakage of the 2022 November Ordinary Level Mathematics Paper One but reports suggest that more papers could have been leaked.
School heads pointed at ZIMSEC as the main source of the problem, rather than schools.
National Association of Secondary Heads (NASH) chair Arthur Maphosa told The Herald the leakage of examinations is unfair on candidates, teachers and parents who would have worked hard preparing for the examinations only for them to be nullified. Said Maphosa:
It is sad that after all the time we take preparing learners and you just hear of these leakages.
You just feel sorry for the learners, teachers and parents. It is bad and it needs to end.
Nonetheless, the problem is not at schools. I think it is emanating from ZIMSEC and they need to tighten their security to avoid the leakages.
Also, some private schools might be partly to blame. The way some run the examination processes is suspicious like the things we hear that some teachers prepare for examinations with learners up to the last night of the exam in what they call an examination gala.
National Association of Primary Heads (NAPH) chair Cynthia Khumalo said primary schools were not affected by the leaks, but added that ZIMSEC should ensure that the integrity of exams is protected. She said:
From our end, we did not encounter any challenges, but that it is happening is a huge cause for concern.
We need to protect the credibility of our education system. ZIMSEC needs to tighten its security system for the integrity of our examinations.
For public schools, I do not think there is any challenge in administering exams. The challenge is with some private schools and there is a need to further scrutinise private schools before they are allowed to stage examinations.
We are gathering information and ZIMSEC will issue a statement. We want this issue to be dealt with expeditiously. Now it is a criminal case and we expect the law to take its course.
As Government schools, we do not condone such behaviour. The integrity of our exams is sacrosanct and needs to be protected.
We also urge parents, teachers, learners and all stakeholders to reject, resist and report corrupt elements near our education system.
The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), has blamed ZIMSEC for the exam leakages.
A leaked police memo dated 19 October 2022 revealed that Ordinary Level English Paper 2 and Mathematics Paper 2 were leaked with some of the suspects already having been arrested.