Walter Mswazie Masvingo Correspondent
The Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) has come under fire for allegedly holding schools to ransom over its “confusing” security procedures.
School heads who spoke to The Herald this week said they were getting a raw deal from the examinations body.
They said they were being forced to travel to district cluster centres every day, with examination scripts and answer sheets at their own expense.
One primary school head from Zaka said they were abiding by the order under protest.
He said all examination centres had locker rooms for safe storage of exam material yet they were being made to collect examination scripts and return answer sheets on the same day.
Another high school head from Gutu echoed similar sentiments, saying the worrying part was that they were meeting all the expenses, which were not covered by fees collected from learners.
“Zimsec has made our lives unbearable as rural schools. We use our own transport to and from the cluster centre. We are not provided with fuel or transport. Our learners pay a paltry $50 as school fees per term,” he said.
“We need at least $1 500 to transport the papers to and from the centres for the duration of examination and this figure may double given the hyper-inflationary environment.”
However, Zimsec spokesperson Ms Nicky Dlamini vehemently dismissed the allegations saying they were not true.
“Some of these allegations are not genuine. Maybe you are looking for a story because it is not true that schools are forced to travel every day to collect the scripts and submit answer sheets,” said Ms Dlamini.
She said examinations material was kept at district cluster centres in cases where schools had no proven secure infrastructure.
“Examination scripts can be kept at district cluster centres if it is proven that the schools have no secure infrastructure. My official comment is that it is a lie that schools are forced to travel,” she said.
She said colleges in urban centres were the only institutions required to collect scripts from Zimsec offices, every day as they had the means to do so.