Nqobile Tshili, Sunday News Correspondent
FORM Four pupils at Sobukhazi High School in Bulawayo’s Mzilikazi suburb last Monday had to write their Zimbabwe School Examination (Zimsec) computers practical examination at night following an electrical fault at the school.
The school is said to have moved the candidates to Bulawayo Polytechnic College where they sat for their paper 12 hours after other candidates had written the same examination.
Instead of starting the examination at 8AM, the pupils are said to have started the examination at 9PM finishing three hours later.
Parents who spoke to the Sunday News said they were left in the dark in regards to the whereabouts of their children when the fracas occurred.
Ms Farenca Maseko from Luveve suburb said she was shaken when her child who had left home at about 6AM was nowhere to be found by night.
“My child commutes to school so it was worrying that she did not come home at the expected time. I couldn’t sleep without knowing her whereabouts. I even called her granny who was also shocked as she didn’t know where she was. She left yesterday at about 6AM (Monday) and arrived today (Tuesday) at 2AM.
“What worries us even more is that there was no formal communication from the school on the problem,” said Mrs Maseko.
She said the children were delivered door to door by the teachers.
“That’s when we were told that there was an electrical fault at the school that disrupted their examination. They were writing a computers practical examination. So our children could not be released as the school had to look for optional centres for them to complete the examination,” she said.
Mrs Maseko said the pupils were shifted to Bulawayo Polytechnic College where they started to write their examination at 9PM.
Another parent Mr Njabulo Ndlovu from Makokoba suburb said considering the time taken by the children to write the examination, it would be a miracle if they pass.
“Some of our children left home without eating and they spent the whole day at school, this was cruel. I doubt they even passed the examination they were writing. What they did was just fulfilling a duty. But these are examinations that determine their future,” said Mr Ndlovu.
Bulawayo acting provincial education director Mrs Olicah Kaira said the incident has not been communicated to her office.
But she acknowledged that Sobukhazi High School was experiencing power problems following an electric fault from the transformer supplying the school with electricity.
“I don’t have the communication of what transpired on what you are referring to. The head was not at school when I enquired.
“But the district schools inspector confirmed that they have a challenge in power supplies, something burst at the school which affected them.
“So today they were writing a metalwork examination and had to write it at Bulawayo Polytechnic College,” she said. -@nqotshili