The leakage of Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (ZIMSEC) Ordinary Level examinations appears to have been unprecedented in the country in 2022 as candidates had access to marking schemes before they sat for their final examinations in October and November.
ZIMSEC markers who declined to be named for security reasons told NewsDay that there is irrefutable evidence that candidates had marking schemes before they wrote the exams.
Some candidates reproduced the marking schemes for some papers “word for word” in their answer sheets according to NewsDay’s sources.
At some examination centres in Harare, the majority of pupils reportedly got high marks of up to 100% for Combined Science Paper 2 and others. An examiner who requested anonymity was quoted by NewsDay as saying:
Some pupils reproduced the marking scheme in their answers, even the codes that are put on the documents to guide the markers, which the candidates did not know the meaning of.
It was clear that cheating occurred because some would write answers exactly as they were on the marking scheme but on the wrong question.
It is possible that every pupil in class can get an answer right, but not when the answer is the same in verbatim for a sentence. It is impossible unless they are copying from somewhere.
ZIMSEC spokesperson Nichollette Dlamini said a comprehensive report will be published once investigations into the leakage of examinations are completed. She said:
As reported to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee by our directorate and MoPSE [Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education], the marking activity was part of the measures to find those candidates who may or are suspected to have been involved in examination malpractice.
The comprehensive report and results, including those of other investigations, will be published at the completion of the exercise.
Towards the end of last year, ZIMSEC officials told Parliament that about 590 suspects were caught cheating while sitting for November 2022 Ordinary and Advanced Level final examinations. | NewsDay