A few days ago we received a tip and verified for ourselves that the ZIMSEC online results portal was no longer accessible. At the time we assumed that this was due to some technical reasons, government websites in Zimbabwe have a notorious habit of prolonged downtime.
It appears this is not one of those cases, ZIMSEC have since put up an announcement on their website:
Please note that the window to view results online has closed. Please collect results from your respective centers.
Says a pop that in during the past week was telling students to click on it to be taken to the results portal.
Going back to the dark ages
This is rather disappointing and retrogressive behaviour on the part of ZIMSEC. In fact the more you let that notice sink in the more stupid it sounds. Yes, I said stupid because the notice makes no sense at all. At no point in time did ZIMSEC mention a time window during which students could view their results online.
A lot of people who wrote ZIMSEC in the distant past were really hoping this would be a permanent thing and more results would be digitised and made available even those of who wrote many years ago. The portal in fact would be very useful to employers who could ask potential employees to login into the portal so they could verify the authenticity of certificate copies.
Then there is the fact that the portal had some kinks to be ironed out. There are unsubstantiated, but plausible reports, that staff at some schools laboriously created accounts for all their students in order to prevent students from seeing their results via their portal. A lot of schools have been in the past accused of extorting students, demanding all manner of payments if they want to see their results.
Another fact to consider is that a lot of students were having difficulties using the portal in the fact place. As is typical of the government there was no human help involved. Instead a board with terse instructions on how to create an account and view results was written on the site and students left to fend for themselves.
Closing the portal gets a solid thumbs down from me.