Pamela Shumba Bulawayo Bureau

THE Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) has postponed an Advanced Level Biology examination due to a shortage of materials required for the paper.The examination body sent circulars to all examination centres last week informing them that the practical test for Biology Paper 4, which was set for November 3, had been postponed to November 24.

The postponement had raised fears that the paper may have leaked amid speculation that it was circulating in Harare, forcing Zimsec to change the examination dates.

However, Zimsec public relations manager Ms Nicky Dlamini yesterday dismissed the speculation and said the postponement was due to the unavailability of some materials required for the practical test.

“No paper leaked. We realised that there are some materials required for the examination that were not available. We decided to postpone while we wait for the materials.

“We sent circulars to all schools and examination centres informing them about the development and this was done well in advance. On November 24, all the material required will be available and candidates will be able to sit for the examination,” said Ms Dlamini.

In an urgent notice circulated to all examination centres, Zimsec said the postponement of the examination was due to challenges beyond its control.

“Please be advised that Biology paper 4 practical test has been postponed from November 3 to November 24 due to challenges beyond our control in sourcing the requisite materials for the practical test.

“Heads of centres concerned please be advised to take note and implement the new examination date. All members of staff and affected candidates should be advised accordingly. In order to guard against the risk of opening the question paper on the wrong date, regional and cluster managers are advised to withhold and quarantine the Biology paper until November 24, 2016,” reads part of the notice from Zimsec.

Officials from schools in Bulawayo confirmed that they received circulars from Zimsec last week informing them about the postponement.

“Zimsec communicated the developments and all the candidates were informed. We were told that some materials required for the examination were not yet available. We hope that they will be available when the candidates sit for the examination on November 24,” said an official at one of the high schools in Bulawayo who requested anonymity.

Some candidates said the postponement had disrupted their plans.

“As candidates, we want to write examinations once and for all without disturbances,” said one pupil.

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