Students at Sobukhazi High School in Bulawayo had to wait thirteen hours to write their Computer Practical exam after there was an electrical fault at their school.
The exam was scheduled to start at 8am last Monday and the Form Four students at Sobukhazi had to bide their time as their fellow students at other schools sat for the exam and proceeded to go home to prepare for other exams.
The school authorities at Sobukhazi must have thought the fault would be resolved in time until they resigned to moving the candidates to Bulawayo Polytechnic College. By the time the students sat for the exam it was 9pm and being a three hour paper, they finished at 12 midnight.
The candidates could not be released until they wrote the exam which was terrible for the students but the lack of communication by the school ensured their parents had an even worse day. The school did not formally inform parents as to the situation on the ground. Said one parent,
My child commutes to school so it was worrying that she did not come home at the expected time. I couldn’t sleep without knowing her whereabouts. I even called her granny who was also shocked as she didn’t know where she was. She left yesterday at about 6AM and arrived today at 2AM.
What worries us even more is that there was no formal communication from the school on the problem.
One wonders what state the students were in when they finally sat for their exam, 13 hours after the scheduled time. One would hope they were fed at least. Their parents raised similar concerns,
Some of our children left home without eating and they spent the whole day at school, this was cruel. I doubt they even passed the examination they were writing. What they did was just fulfilling a duty. But these are examinations that determine their future.
This is a valid concern and the hope is that such never happens again but for these particular students the damage was done and nothing can be done about it. Or can something be done? I don’t know.
While we feel for the students we also know that they are in the priviledged students group with access to computers at school. Most of Zimbabwean schools are still to have computers and in some schools where computers were donated, they were vandalised and for the students it was as if there never were computers.
Should the school have been more prepared? Should there have been a generator on standby? With the levies schools are receiving it may be unfair to expect. The government though could definitely do more, instead of buying expensive luxury cars for ministers they could assist schools in this.
This story first appeared on The Sunday News.
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