The Sunday News
Rutendo Nyeve, Sunday News Reporter
IT is all systems go for the Grade Seven public examinations that begin tomorrow with the exam papers having been distributed to all cluster centres countrywide amid effective security measures to plug malpractices.
Speaking to Sunday News, the Zimbabwe School Examination Council (Zimsec) and the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education said all was in place and they expected an incident free examination period.
The examinations are set to run for the next two weeks starting tomorrow 25 September and ending on 9 October.
The examination body’s spokesperson, Ms Nicky Dlamini, said all was set for the public examinations that commence tomorrow.
“The Zimsec Grade Seven 2023 examinations are set to start (tomorrow) Monday 25 September. They will run for two weeks up until the 9th of October 2023. As Zimsec we have begun distributing question papers to the respective cluster centres for further transmission to the examination centres,” said Ms Dlamini.
At cluster centres visited by Sunday News on Thursday in Matabeleland South and Bulawayo provinces, examination papers were being distributed through a private security company’s cash in transit vehicles.
The process was being conducted under heavy police guard.
Ms Dlamini said despite not experiencing leakages at Grade Seven level in the past years, they have secured the various centres while monitoring would be done throughout the course of the examinations.
“As from the beginning of Grade Seven, we have not experienced a leakage. In terms of security we do secure the cluster centres as well as the centres where question papers are kept. There are also monitors as well as those who come around to do checks to ensure the security of examinations,” said Ms Dlamini.
Director of Communication and Advocacy in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education Mr Taungana Ndoro said all hands were on deck and the ministry expected an improved pass rate.
“We are very much prepared and expect a very high pass rate. Zimsec has all hands on deck for those examinations and we expect them to be carried out successfully,” said Mr Ndoro.
Last year, there was a 40.09 percent pass rate for Grade Seven examination according to results released by Zimsec, a slight decrease from the 41.13 percent recorded in the previous year.
The results also showed that girls did a lot better than boys with a pass rate of 43.66 percent the against boys’ 36.22 percent.
The reasons for the slight overall decline were suspected to be partly due to the need for schools and pupils becoming familiar with the Continuous Assessment Learning Activities (CALAs). There was also a marked increase in the number that sat for the examinations post Covid-19 period, something that could have affected the results.
CALAs require learners to be consistent throughout the year instead of waiting for the examinations at the very last moment.
While Ms Dlamini could not give the figures for learners sitting for the public examinations this year saying she can only do that after they commence, a total of 343 169 candidates sat for the 2022 Grade Seven examinations compared to 325 573 candidates who sat for the same examinations in 2021, showing a 5,4 percent increase in candidature, an additional 17 596 candidates. –@nyeve14