Last year, 2016, during the final examinations I wrote the following sad, lamentation about examination leaks. I faithfully wrote it as the voice of the voiceless; those who watch and see but cannot speak. Is that not what veritable journalism is all about? Read on.
DO we continue to stand aside and look and do nothing? That is what we continue to seem to do… unwittingly.
Bringing one headmaster or two to book is doing something good, yes, but will that stop the sham? Replacing the leaked papers is also doing something good too, yes, but will that stop the leaks the following year and years after? Food for thought!
Let’s face it, how much do these examination paper replacements cost the examination council-Zimsec, in the form of time and money?
Has anyone dared get to the bottom of this administrative Ebola repeatedly threatening the dignity and value of our education system in Zimbabwe? Or we only see a few noise- makers strut and fret upon stage, then like Shakespearean stage actors, are heard of no more? Tales of leaking papers/ Told by idiots/ Full of sound and fury/ Signifying nothing?
Waiting for the following year, seeing the same leaks followed by cosmetic fire-fighting, without addressing the root cause of this crisis of corruption once and for all is synonymous with executive negligence.
What can be read into this examination leaks syndrome? Administrative impotence (of course) culminating into intellectual carnage! Nothing describes it better. When the national examination board or council continues to allow examinations to appear like academic games wrought with cheating and dishonesty, it shows nothing less than intellectual carnage; a slow but continuous haemorrhaging of the dignity, value and integrity of national examinations.
This writer is neither big nor brave enough to call for the resignation of the entire Zimsec but in other countries this level of inability to stop leakages of examination papers would have long gone warranted the express resignation of the examination administrators.
Not because they are directly responsible for the leaks (Who knows? May be they are) but indeed because they have failed to stop the perennial embarrassment.
What happens when the referees of the world’s most beautiful game, football, fail to ensure that players compete according to principles, rules and regulations that govern fair play?
We do have many woes to worry about around the examinations question: the standards of setting them, marking them and the persistent degradation of the national pass rate which seems to have assumed the character of a national hobby. But to stoop so low as to let examination papers leak en-masse every year makes an indefensible mockery of the integrity of Zimbabweans. We are smart people, are we not, in Zimbabwe?
Or do we overestimate our honourableness? Leaking examination papers for whatever reason is not honourable.
If people have failed to deliver, not only once or twice or thrice, but many times, what stops concerned people to call for a resignation or push a vote of no confidence against the culprits?
What will it take for Zimbabweans to tell the national examination council, ‘Enough is enough?’
Is the education sector not in a social contract to offer a quality educational story defined and driven by best-practices? Incompetent administering of examinations is not a best-practice.
What can be a better or more convenient time than now, ladies and gentlemen, when the wind is still full of vote-of-no confidence mania, to mobilise loud calls for a vote of no confidence against non-performers or indeed saboteurs, whether by intent or default, of the integrity and value of our national examinations? Food for thought!
The Manica Post Education materials writer and guest columnist wrote the above article in November, 2016. Students were busy writing final examinations. The clock has turned full circle. Have his fears now been allayed? Has the ZIMSEC now been vindicated? Has the story of examination leaks come to end? Has time and tide proved Morris Mtisi wrong?
This is 2017. We are in the heat of another spree of final examinations countrywide. Is the story of leaks history now? What have you heard in the grapevine or indeed in the corridors of Education? If the leakage-Ebola is over, congratulations! MM can now eat his own words and painfully endure the egg in his face. It is time to thank all those who fought such a terrible disease to come to an end.
Or are you quiet, including the media houses, because the leaks have become the devil’s norm and non-leaks the ironical mystery?
Talk to MM. The education page is your page.
Do not get used to the devil and his shenanigans when there is God divinely crying for honesty, integrity and moral uprightness in our conduct in every business of our different personal curriculums of life. Call me, text me, write me, visit me-I am all yours. What is happening to the 2017 examinations?
Morris Mtisi writes and makes these views in his own capacity. The sentiments he expresses, please note, are not necessarily those of The Manica Post. He can be contacted on 0773 883 293 or email> email@example.com