The Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (ZIMSEC) yesterday said the printing of English Paper II will be completed on Monday ahead of delivery in the early hours of the exam date on Friday. In a statement yesterday, Zimsec director Mr Esau Nhandara also indicated that boarding schools will provide one night accommodation for the candidates and meals.
“While normal communication channels had been employed — alerting examination centres and candidates of the 16th of February 2018 examination resit procedures, it is further emphasised that, the printing of the 2018 English Language Paper II would be concluded on Monday 12 February, 2018 ahead of delivery at centres at 8am on the 16th of February 2018.
“The English Language Paper II examination will start at 10am on the same day. Zimsec will take custody of all candidate scripts by 2.30pm on the same day. All 26 546 candidates registered at 181 boarding schools are assured that these centres have been engaged to enable single overnight accommodation and associated meals for this limited window,” he said.
“The remaining 243 223 candidates at 2 010 registered day school examination centres are expected to present themselves at 9.30am at the latest in preparation for the 10am examination.”
Mr Nhandara said security measures have been reviewed and augmented. Categorised centres will collect and return their scripts under armed escort. He said candidates should report to their original 2017 examination centres to retake the paper.
“Question papers will be distributed to centres in line with the original candidate registration numbers. Changes to the 2017 registration details cannot be achieved timeously and will result in distribution, material inadequacies and candidate identification challenges,” said Mr Nhandara.
He said it is important for candidates to retake the examination as results will not be provided on the basis of Paper 1 performance in the subject.
“While Paper 1 concentrates on middle and higher order skills, Paper II covers the whole range from the lowest to the highest order skills and learner linguistic competence can, therefore, only be fully assessed through both papers,” he said.
Mr Nhandara said candidates barred from taking the examination paper had already been informed and should not write the examination. He urged candidates to satisfy themselves that the question paper envelopes are sealed before invigilators proceed to distribute them.
Mr Nhandara said where envelopes were tampered with candidates and centres should alert Zimsec on their hotline. He said stakeholder participation in safeguarding the examination would ensure the identification and containment of examination breaches.
“Please be advised that candidate performance could not be reliably premised on the November 2017 English Paper II answer scripts, as these scripts indicated unacceptable breach levels. While initial indications had been that breaches were localised, investigations through subsequent processes revealed a wider spread of the problem.
“The magnitude and complexity of the malpractice informed the need for appropriate escalation before implementation of this outcome in tandem with examination regulations,” he said.