40% to 50% of learners in Matabeleland North Province that are supposed to sit for the 2021 Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (ZIMSEC) examinations are failing to register, it has emerged.
Matabeleland North provincial education director Jabulani Mpofu told Southern Eye that there had been very low registration turnout by learners in the province for the November “O” Level examinations, even as the deadline was drawing nearer. Said Mpofu:
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In Matabeleland North, only 40% to 50% of students have managed to register, which is way too low compared to the total number of students that are expected to actually sit for the examination.
The deadline for registration is July 9. There is nothing that we can do to help those who can’t afford to pay for their exam registration because it’s something that needs to be looked at by the government.
The government recently increased examination fees for both “O” and “A” levels to $5 194 for seven “O” level subjects and $3 240 for three “A” subjects and the fees are beyond the reach of the majority of villagers.
In 2020, more than 15 000 examination candidates failed to register, and the situation is expected to be worse this year.
Meanwhile, last week, teachers’ unions urged Treasury to release $2,9 billion and allocate it towards ZIMSEC examination fees saying that parents could not afford the new charges due to the effects of COVID-19.