Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) president Obert Masaraure said the November public examinations should be deferred to May 2021 as the majority of learners will not have enough preparation time this year.
Masaraure was responding to Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa who told a post-cabinet news conference last Tuesday that schools will reopen next month with examinations for Ordinary and Advanced Level classes going ahead between November and December.
Masaraure argued that only a few elite pupils have access to online learning material while the majority of leaners are totally ill-equipped for the Zimbabwe Schools Examinations Council (ZIMSEC) exams. He said:
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The examinations will be forced down the throats of over 650 000 unprepared learners who had no access to remote learning after COVID-19-induced schools closure of 24 March 2020.
An average of 32 000 elite learners who enjoyed exclusionary access to online learning will be ready for these apartheid examinations.
Examination candidates have lost five solid months of learning time in the critical final year of their studies.
They are likely to lose more. Traditionally, these lost months are dedicated to completing the syllabi and embarking on a robust revision process to recall concepts covered in the first academic year of the two-year course.
It is practically impossible to frog march these ill-prepared learners into the examination room and expect them to cough out good results.
Schools were closed in March this year due to the coronavirus outbreak and were initially set for reopening in July but those plans were aborted following a surge in local transmission cases.