Tinomuda Chakanyuka Sunday News Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (Zimsec) has quashed rumours circulating on social media platforms and in schools that the council has suspended this year’s June Ordinary Level and Advanced Level examination session. Social media platforms such as WhatsApp were, at the end of last year, abuzz with the rumour, which claimed that Zimsec had been forced to scrap the examination session owing to lack of funds.
The rumour torched confusion and panic among unsuspecting candidates some of whom visited Zimsec offices in their areas to seek clarification on the matter.
In a statement on Friday last week, Zimsec director Mr Essau Nhandara, dismissed the reports as false, saying that those responsible for peddling such falsehoods were bringing the name of the council and that of the country’s education system into disrepute.
He said Zimsec will in due course, announce the registration and examination dates for the mid-year examination session.
“Those who are peddling this false information are not only putting the examinations board into disrepute but the educational system and the nation of Zimbabwe as a whole.
“Zimsec strongly refutes such allegations and hereby confirms that June 2015 examinations will be held as normal, at a set time which will be confirmed in the new school calendar year.
“Since its inception in 1996, Zimsec has without fail, hosted June and November examination sessions with integrity and produced standards whose credibility and high standards reach far beyond our borders and the continent,” Mr Nhandara said.
The Zimsec director went on to encourage members of the public not to fall for hoaxes that are peddled via social media platforms, saying Zimsec would never use such platforms to communicate any official information to its stakeholders.
“Zimsec does not use WhatsApp as a medium to communicate results, news or any other official information. We hereby distance ourselves as a council from any messages being circulated on this platform and encourage the public to ignore them.
“We encourage the nation to desist from disseminating such information informally, but rather to get clear and steadfast information from Zimsec offices in their respective regions or from the head office in Harare,” he said.
Meanwhile, Zimsec has expressed satisfaction with the improved national overall pass rate in the November 2014 Grade Seven examinations.
Last year’s pass rate of 38,13 percent, the highest so far since 2009, was an improvement from 32,20 percent recorded in 2013.
There was also an increase in the number of pupils who registered for last year’s examinations, 308 888 compared to 299 673 the previous year.
Mr Nhandara attributed the increase in the number of pupils who registered to the establishment of new satellite schools in resettled farming areas.