ZIMSEC Mathematics O level exam paper 2 has allegedly been making rounds on WhatsApp earlier this week well before it was written on Thursday. The scandal brings up once more the credibility of not only Zimbabwe’s education system but that of the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (ZIMSEC) as well.
ZIMSEC’s scandals of leaked papers
At this point, one can go as far as to say this leaking of papers is becoming almost a tradition, as almost every year such scandal befalls ZIMSEC. An enquiry into why ZIMSEC papers are leaking by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education in 2017 revealed that:
Mathematics had the highest number of papers that were leaked; English coming in second followed by Science.
The situation gets worse for ZIMSEC; founder and lead developer of Age X, Van Lee Chigwada claims to get hounded for exam tips because most people mistake him for an employee of the exam council:
I often get people asking for exam tips or some sort of information on ZIMSEC papers. My company does a lot of revision applications for ZIMSEC so that’s where the confusion comes from.
The fact that Chigwada has been approached speaks to the fact that either employees of ZIMSEC or the teachers who draw up the examinations or proofreaders or printers do share upcoming exam papers. While it is wrong we also have to be fair and look at the economy aspect of our nation and the Covid19 pandemic. Many are struggling to make ends meet with current salaries.
I honestly wouldn’t blame them for pushing the hustle and this year of all years one would make a killing with so many candidates ill-prepared because of the pandemic’s disruption of the education system.
ZIMSEC’s competence is further challenged by the missing map debacle that left some candidates sitting for the O level Geography paper 1 examination on Tuesday with no maps to refer to. While it is not clear whether it was a printing error or the council’s negligence, the situation adds fuel to an already questionable situation.
All this is quite disturbing. A lot of Zimbabwean students who sit for ZIMSEC public examinations apply for university places outside the country. The more ZIMSEC’s credibility is damaged, the more difficult it will be for those students to be accepted. It may get so bad that the majority will just revert back to Cambridge examination syndicate.
ZIMSEC is yet to comment on the matter as they verify the authenticity of the images provided by my source of the paper in question. We will provide and update once we get their comment. Unfortunately, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education couldn’t be reached for their own comment on the matter.