Teacher’ unions urges government to postpone final examinations
Teachers’ unions have requested that the government postpone the Zimsec November final examinations for Grade 7, Form 4 and Upper 6 to January. The reason being that the pupils will not be ready for the exams because their learning has been disrupted by COVID-19 induced lockdowns.
How the lockdown affected the examination classes
This year, 2021, pupils attended school for one term only and were due to open schools for the second term on July 28. However, a deadly COVID-19 third wave was all the government needed to indefinitely postpone the reopening of schools.
Last year, pupils also had limited learning in 2020 after the Covid-19 induced lockdowns forced the closure of schools after only one term. This effectively means that all exam class students had 1 term of school last year and 1 term of school this year.
The call for government to postpone final examinations
This led teachers unions to call for the postponement of examinations. Their reasoning being that it is not fair for most pupils, especially those who have no access to online learning during the pandemic.
“Six weeks after schools were supposed to have reopened, it’s still not clear when they will,” Progressive Teachers Union Zimbabwe (PTUZ) said in a statement.
“We call on Primary and Secondary Education ministry to postpone the examinations to January, at the least,” the PTUZ said.
“These kids learned for only three months since last year, radio and television lessons reach less than 10% of the candidates.”
Other challenges being faced by students and teachers
Though government introduced radio and television lessons, the programme reached only a few people. The reasons being:
- poor radio and TV reception in some areas
- lack of radios and TVs
- lack of electricity in some areas required.
- Teachers boycotting the elearning programms due to meagre salaries.
“It is sad that government has not been forthcoming to support teachers’ initiatives of subject and class WhatsApp learning,” PTUZ said.
“Teachers are prepared to teach pupils and only want government to support them with bundles. Opening of schools is unlikely to happen anytime soon.”
According to the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe president Obert Masaraure teachers are also incapacitated to go back to work even if government reopened the schools today.
“The government should urgently convene dialogue and resolve the long-standing salary crisis,” Masaraure said.