After teachers boycotted invigilating exams due to poor working conditions, the government reportedly hired villagers and “ancillary staff” to invigilated the public exams that started yesterday morning, Newsday reports.
This was revealed by Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) president Takavafira Zhou who spoke to the publication said the government failed to provide sanitizers in some schools in Matabeleland:
It was a mess, and it is terrible, other headmasters have told pupils to pay US$1 every day they are writing so that the schools can have money to pay the hired invigilators. There are reports from the rural areas of schools that enticed some villagers to come and invigilate under the supervision of at least a teacher in every class and some heads have sent an SOS through Parent Teacher Associations (PTA) for villagers with 5 ‘O’ Levels to report to schools for consideration as invigilators.
We are also aware that some individuals are being called in with the promise of jobs and schools have also called ancillary staff to invigilate. Teachers in administration and some heads of departments have reported to schools because they receive money for managing exams.
Many “O” Level candidates who also registered for November failed to turn up, opting to write at the end of the year when possibly COVID-19 would be under control.
About a third of those who registered in November failed to turn up. Another sad development was recorded in schools in border areas, where some candidates just sneaked in from other countries and went straight into examination rooms with others. It is terrible,
In other areas like Matabeleland South, there were no sanitisers and infrared thermometers were not available. One school approached the nearest health centre, which demanded five litres of fuel every morning to go and take candidates’ temperatures before they get into the examination room.
The government insisted on going ahead with the June exams despite the present threat of the virus and the government’s failure to provide adequate material used to curb spreading the virus, and the fact that leaners were last in school 3 months ago.