Of GCE, school certificate grades

The Advanced and Ordinary Level November 2015 results are out and as has become the trend we are faced with ample questions about the examinations and the results.

This year, the examiner, is faced with an encumbrance created by social and formal media interpretations of the grades awarded to candidates, particularly at the Ordinary level.

The Zimbabwe School Examinations Council would like to clarify the issue of the position of the E grade on the Ordinary Level Certificate.

At the back of the Ordinary Level Certificate, grades A, B and C (1-6) are given as passes with C, the lowest, being a credit pass.

These passes enable candidates to be recognised for further education or training for work. These grades are the GCE Ordinary Level pass grades.

Grades D & E (7 & 8) are school certificate subject grades. The school certificate subject grades recognise that the candidate has gone through the Ordinary Level course but, has not successfully attained the requisite GCE standard grades required by the GCE standard to proceed to the next level of education or training for work.

Those who attain these grades (D and E) will have evidence that they attempted the GCE programme and attained school certificate grades which are below the GCE standard.

The standards of examinations administered by ZIMSEC are not autonomous to other examination boards in the country, region or the international assessment community.

Assessment bodies are benchmarked and comparable across the broad spectrum of examinations to allow graduates at different levels to be evaluated by different Examination Boards from other countries when they apply for opportunities to study outside of Zimbabwe.

According to academic definitions ‘Benchmarking involves comparing and analysing the level of one qualification against another identified qualification, standard or framework level in order to determine its academic standing.’

There have been some reports circulating with information about the Zimsec June Examinations being cancelled, this is not true.

June 2016 examinations shall be conducted and registration is indeed in process. The fees remain at the same figure as the last year for both Advanced and Ordinary Level.

See table:

Although examination fees have remained the same, there has been a need to adjust registration and inspection fees for private examination centres.

A report in the print media namely, The Mirror published on February 11, suggested that the fees adjustments were uncalled for.

The administration of examinations for the numerous private centres has necessitated an increase in the aforementioned fees.

The fees had not been revised since the beginning of January 2014.

However, private centres, administratively, are now being assigned inspectors from the Council at an extra cost to assist in the continued effort to reduce examination malpractice at the centres.

The formal school centres, however are inspected periodically by the Education Officers and Inspectors.

The fees have been revised from $100 to $500 for the Inspection fees and $500 to $2500 for the registration fees.

The Zimbabwe School Examinations Council would like to take this opportunity to thank all the stakeholders and Zimsec centres who have been vital partners in the hosting of our examinations, and we look forward to the combined continued effort to provide education opportunities for all.

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