Grade 7 Results To Be Delayed Further As Exam Markers Clash With ZIMSEC Over Covid Regulations

Grade 7 examination markers for the November 2021 Grade Seven have clashed with the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (ZIMSEC) over Zimsec’s "double standards" in enforcing Covid-19 regulations.

Last week ZIMSEC wrote a memo advising all marker to be tested for coronavirus at their own expense. The examiners are expected to personally foot their own bills for a PCR Covid-19 test to the tune of around US$60.

This irked the teachers who, in response, castigated ZIMSEC for forcing them to invigilate students last year without the COVID-19 tests certificates and then demand the same certificates when they are about to start marking the papers.

According to one teacher who spoke to NewZimbabwe.com:

"ZIMSEC is now pretending to be concerned about our health yet they forced us to invigilate students without these COVID-19 tests certificates.

"A lot of teachers contracted COVID-19 while invigilating students last year.

"Why didn’t they enforce these measures when we were invigilating the examinations last year?"

The examiner went on to say he will not take part in the marking exercise until ZIMSEC clarified on who is going to foot the COVID-19 testing costs.

Another examiner blamed Zimsec of short-changing the teachers and making life hard for them and vowed not to be part of the marking exercise:

"Invigilation was the riskiest period where a lot of teachers got infected. ZIMSEC refused to pay us invigilation fees but now they want to shortchange us by demanding COVID-19 certificates which they failed to ask for during the crucial stage.

"Where does ZIMSEC expect us to get the US$60 and transport money for the testing? We are not even paid such money per day for the marking services. I would rather not mark the examinations than undergo those expensive tests."

Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) president Obert Masaraure also urged teachers to boycott the marking exercise until ZIMSEC starts respecting teachers:

"ZIMSEC is becoming notorious for undermining the rights of workers. Teachers should realise they have sacred labour rights and should never allow anyone to trample on their rights.

"Markers should demand a fresh contract from ZIMSEC, the contract should clearly state who is responsible for the health and safety of the markers at the workplace. It is the duty of the employer to ensure safety at the workplace. We urge teachers to exercise their power and withhold services until these issues are resolved."

Under normal circumstances, the marking of Grade 7 exams should have been finished in December. However, last December it was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Sydney Chako

Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics teacher at Sytech Learning Academy. From Junior Secondary School to Tertiary Level Engineering Mathematics and Engineering Science.

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