The Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), has criticised the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (ZIMSEC) for refusing to offer contracts to teachers who invigilate public examinations.
On Monday, PTUZ wrote to ZIMSEC requesting the examinations body to offer teachers contracts for invigilating and marking public examinations rather than “forcing” them to perform the tasks “against their will”.
In response, ZIMSEC said it will not give contracts to teachers as they are employed by the Public Service Commission (PSC). A statement issued by PTUZ president Takavafira Zhou reads:
ZIMSEC has responded swiftly to our communique dated 15 November over the contractual agreement with teachers.
In its response, ZIMSEC is shifting the responsibility of paying teachers to the Public Service Commission. This is surprising given that the examinations are run by Zimsec as a parastatal.
ZIMSEC’s alibi is also nauseating given that it is paying item writers and has never referred their payment to PSC. Security personnel in school centres are also directly paid by ZIMSEC.
ZIMSEC also pays school heads at collection centres. Why have such payments not been done by PSC? Why does Zimsec pay exam markers?
It is clear that Zimsec is trying to hide behind its finger, and such a trajectory will not augur well with the proper invigilation of exams.
Attempts to prevaricate, change goalposts and shift blame elsewhere are ill-conceived, callous and unfortunate.
Such evasiveness and elusiveness will compound the invigilation process. If the responsibility of running examinations is PSC’s why are ZIMSEC officials monitoring the process?
Why did PSC fail to compensate Mr Mahara after getting involved in an accident whilst carrying Zimsec exam papers?
Lies have short legs, and the earlier ZIMSEC must learn to engage teacher unions in good faith the better.
ZIMSEC’s decision has certainly thrown the invigilation of examination into a quandary as there is no going back on the decision taken by teachers for a contractual agreement.