Student takes Zimsec to court over results

Michael Magoronga Court Writer

A FORMER pupil at Drake High School in Torwood, Redcliff, has taken the Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (Zimsec) to court for allegedly failing to release his November 2020 Ordinary Level results.

Blessing Mhlanga registered for 10 subjects for the November 2020 O-Level examinations.

Soon after the release of the results, he checked the Zimsec online portal and discovered that some results were missing.

Zimsec agrees he wrote all 10 subjects, but states he was only registered for four and sat the other six as a “pirate” candidate.

Mhlanga, through Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, filed an application at the Bulawayo High Court citing Zimsec, Drake High School, and Kwekwe district schools inspector Mr Herbert Maziriri as respondents.

In his founding affidavit, Mhlanga said in 2020, he first registered four subjects under the Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM) before sourcing for funds and adding another six subjects.

Upon the release of the results in May 2021, he discovered that only subjects he registered under BEAM were showing while the rest were not reflecting on the Zimsec portal.

“Having realised that not all my results were released, I then approached Drake High School over the matter and the school’s deputy head was instructed to compile the necessary amendment forms in order to notify Zimsec that I had not received all my results,” said Mhlanga.

“In June I went back to the school and they told me they had not received any feedback from Zimsec and they highlighted that there was nothing they could do as a school since the issue was now being handled by Zimsec.”

Since then Mhlanga said he had been making numerous follow ups including visiting Zimsec regional offices in Gweru to no avail.

“In September 2021, I followed up with the school and I was given copies of the amendment forms and went to the Zimsec regional offices in Gweru. There, I was informed that my amendment forms could not be located at the head office in Harare,” he said.

“I have been making telephonic enquiries over the matter and I was met with the same response over and over again.”

Mhlanga said the failure of Zimsec to release his results was hindering him from pursuing his studies.

“I intend to further my education at an institution of higher education in either civil engineering or pharmaceutical studies. However, one of the prerequisites for admission at universities is that I must have passed at least five Ordinary Levels,” he said.

“It is, therefore, my humble submission that the failure by the school to release my examination results notwithstanding that I sat for the examination and demanded the release of my results, is an affront to my rights to administrative justice, access to information, and further education.” Mhlanga said with the assistance of Drake High School head, Mr Wellington Mapingire, he managed to enrol at Batanai High School where he sat for Advanced Level and obtained 12 points.

“I have been prejudiced and continue to be prejudiced by Zimsec if they fail to release my missing results. I further wish to aver that I have no other remedy save for approaching this honourable court for relief,” he said.

“I have made several efforts to engage Zimsec but in vain. Accordingly, I pray for an order that the issue be brought to finality.”

In his opposing affidavit, Zimsec corporate affairs secretary, Tendai Regina Marufu, said Mhlanga only registered for four subjects.

“The alleged candidates’ list which has been attached (showing registered results), did not originate from Zimsec. It is alien to Zimsec and it is not proof of registration for examinations. The applicant knows very well that the only real form of confirmation of registration is one’s statement of entry which is issued by the school,” he argued.

“If indeed he registered for an additional six examinations, and Zimsec confirmed such registration, then he should provide a statement of entry issued by Zimsec confirming such registration.” Marufu said there is a probability that the school failed to timeously assist Mhlanga in completing the registration process for the additional six subjects.

“Although it is confirmed that Mhlanga sat and wrote the ten subjects as he alleges, the fact of the matter is that he was a pirate candidate, which means an unregistered candidate in respect of those six subjects for which he was not registered,” he said.

“The fact that the applicant’s results slip did not indicate that the results were missing shows that he was never in fact registered for the exams in question hence the only recourse was to withhold those results in which the applicant wrote the examination as a pirate candidate.”

Marufu shifted the blame on the school, arguing that authorities did not play their part.

“Somehow, the school had a large part to play in the non-registration of the applicant and has been sending him on an endless wild goose hunt for the last three years. There can be logical reasons why the school would refuse to present the query forms to our offices after request if indeed the school had nothing to hide,” he said.

The other respondents are yet to respond.

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