TEACHER unions have urged parents of Ordinary Level students whose results were nullified last week to sue the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) for presiding over flawed examinations.
More troubles appear to be brewing for the examinations body after nearly 5 000 candidates had their 2022 O Level results nullified for cheating following a massive examination papers leakage, sending shockwaves across the country.
A total of 183 584 students sat for the 2022 Zimsec O Level examinations, and the majority, 130 415 students, failed to get at least five subject passes.
The results were released last week and Zimsec admitted that they were marred by several irregularities. Mukaro High School in Masvingo province is reportedly the worst affected school after the entire school’s O Level results were nullified.
In a circular circulating on WhatsApp directed to parents and guardians, Mukaro School headmistress, one Marumanadzo said they were shocked over withdrawal of results for all students at their school.
“This is meant to clarify the shocking withdrawal of 2022 Ordinary Level results. We as an institution at Mukaro High School are equally shocked because we are yet to get a detailed report from Zimsec on what transpired,” Marumanadzo said.
Educators Union of Zimbabwe secretary-general Tapedza Zhou urged parents to sue Zimsec over nullification of their children’s results.
“We have been representing teachers, but we are urging parents to sue Zimsec. We have not witnessed something like this since Zimbabwe’s independence and during the Rhodesian era. Almost 5 000 results were nullified, it’s a joke. Zimsec has put the name of the country into disrepute and our academic credentials will likely be undermined,” Zhou said.
He said Parliament should also take action on Zimsec.
“We don’t condone corruption and we don’t condone examination leakages, but the teachers we are representing are underpaid and they are the markers. If action is not taken, there will be more leakages this year.”
Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe president Obert Masaraure said Zimsec might fail to raise credible defence as several innocent students were affected.
“The withdrawal of results for almost 2% of the candidates doesn’t eliminate the risk of fake evaluation outcomes. That punishes poor parents who religiously pay education fees. These parents have no mandate to secure examinations and Zimsec is solely to blame for this,” Masaraure said.
Zimbabwe National Teachers Union president Manuel Nyawo accused Zimsec for reducing pass rates of students.
Nyawo said: “We hear that students who scored between 50% asnd 60 % were placed in D grade instead of C grade. This needs to be further investigated. How do over 130 000 students fail to get five O Level passes? We will have a huge number of rewrites this year. This means 70% of the students who wrote O Level examinations did not make it and this is worrisome.
“There is only one way forward to this unwarranted failure. All students must be upgraded. Those with 50%-60% scores should be slotted into the C grade, while those who scored between 61% and 70 % have to be slotted into B grade,” Nyawo said.
He said Zimsec should give a full explanation for the high failure rates this year.
Zimsec spokesperson Nicky Dlamini said all angry parents and students who had their results nullified on charges of cheating should approach their schools first.
“Affected students must approach their respective schools before approaching Zimsec,” Dlamini said.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said police were still investigating outstanding cases to make further arrests.
“As soon as Zimsec reported the matter to the police last year, we have opened dockets and some people have appeared before the courts. We are still investigating some outstanding cases,” he said.