The 2021 Zimbabwe School Examination Council (ZIMSEC) examinations will start at the end of November for Grade Seven candidates, while Ordinary and Advanced Level pupils will start writing in mid-December overlapping into 2022.
This was revealed by Primary and Secondary Education Deputy Minister Edgar Moyo while responding to questions in Parliament on Wednesday. Moyo said:
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The examination dates have only been given so far as when they are going to begin and that is the end of November for Grade Sevens.
Mid-December, we are going to have the O and A Levels which are going to overlap into 2022.
Moyo said the ministry believes children would have been prepared for examinations by that time. He said:
With regards to the point that children have lost time, we are employing catch up strategies to ensure that the children do catch up and one of them is through blended learning where we are using different learning and teaching platforms.
Inclusive of that is going to be materials that are going to be given to children. Some of them have been given those materials and e-learning is also underway so that they do catch up.
Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA) chief executive officer, Sifiso Ndlovu said although the exams could be written starting at the end of November, there was a need for exam papers to be set according to what learners would have been taught. Said Ndlovu:
Learners have to be assessed on what they have covered and exam papers should be set according to that. Another issue is on CALAs (Continuous Learners Assessments), this is a long process of coursework and considering limited learning time learners can be assessed in one activity.
Meanwhile, Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) president, Takavafira Zhou recently said pupils need three months of uninterrupted time of learning in order to cover the time lost through lockdown before they are ready to sit for examinations.
He said learners should write exams around mid-January to February next year when teachers would have completed their syllabuses.