Results for 4 961 0-Level cheats nullified
Maxwell Tapatapa Herald Reporter
Results of Ordinary-Level examinations written in November last year have been released and are available online immediately and at schools from Monday, but 4 961 candidates had their results nullified after the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) was satisfied they had access to question papers before the exam.
Pass rates, those with at last five subjects at grade C or better, rose to 28,96 percent although pass rates for boys actually fell, 11,54 percent more candidates wrote the examinations, but Zimsec was determined that cheating could not prosper.
Zimsec chairman Professor Eddie Mwenje announced both the availability of the results, and the nullification of the results of those who cheated, at a Press conference in Harare yesterday.
The cheats amounted to around 1,78 percent of the 278 760 who wrote O-level.
At the end of last year, there were reports that the O-level Mathematics papers 1 and 2, and English Paper 2 might have been leaked, and speculation that some might have seen more. Zimsec has a number of ways of tracking down those who cheated by seeing a paper before the exam.
Prof Mwenje said some were identified during the writing of the examinations but the same prior access was picked up at later stages, the marking of scripts and grade reviews.
“The results of such candidates were nullified for the subjects in question in accordance with the Zimsec Act, Section 34. Candidates, headmasters and members of the public who were caught posting question papers on WhatsApp and those buying them were arrested and appeared in court,” said Prof Mwenje.
He said all other practices that contravened the Zimsec Act were brought to the attention of Zimsec by schools.
“As a result of the combined investigations, reports from school and the identification of culprits at marking and grade review stages, a total of 4 961 candidates had results nullified. This number is out of 278 760 who registered for the Ordinary Level examination. The number represents 1,78 percent of the total candidate entry,” he said.
Zimsec said it reserves the right to withhold results even after the publication date and results which have been issued can be withdrawn upon evidence of malpractice by candidates. More so, any centres which were complicit in the examination malpractice will be de-registered.
The numbers of those punished, said Prof Mwenje, is worrisome but they were careful not to punish the innocent.
“1,78 percent is of course a reason to worry but it’s a figure we say that we have to make sure that we don’t punish other people,” he said.
Legal amendments will allow harsher punishment for cheats.
“In fact, we were lenient because we nullified the very subject that we were concerned about. The system that comes into place through the amendment Act will probably nullify every system that you have results in because we wouldn’t know if you didn’t have access to this. It’s quite a lenient approach but that’s telling you that we are not going to tolerate malpractices in our examination system.” he said.
There was an 11,54 percent jump in the number of candidates to 278 760 in November 2022 last year compared to the 249 914 candidates in 2021.
In 2022, a total of 183 584 wrote five or more subjects and 53 169 passed five or more subjects with a grade C or better giving an overall pass rate of 28,96 percent as compared to 163 179 candidates who wrote five or more subjects in 2021, with 42 985 passing five or more subjects with a Grade C or better yielding a pass rate of 26,34 percent.
The total number of male candidates who sat for 2022 Ordinary Level Examinations was 132 653 and of these 86 018 wrote five or more subjects and 21 645 passed five or more subjects translating to a pass rate of 25.16 percent. The total number of male candidates who sat for the 2021 Ordinary level examinations was 118 918 and of these 77 133 wrote five or more subjects and 20 971 passed five or more subjects translating to a pass rate of 27.19 percent. The pass rate for male candidates in 2022 decreased by 2.03%.
The results started to be accessed online by candidates or authorised personnel from yesterday. The results portal will be open for a window of five days. Candidates can access the results portal on the Zimsec website at www.zimsec.co.zw by clicking on their province for redirection to the results portals. Candidates can collect their result slips from their centres or schools from Monday.