ZIMSEC saga dents examinations credibility: PTUZ

By Joyce Mukucha

The Secretary General for Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) Mr Raymond Majongwe said the union is against messages that have been unfortunately attacking the leadership for informing its members against the goings on concerning the Zimsec saga. This came after the announcement made by the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Professor Paul Mavima that the ‘O’ Level English Paper 2 should be re-taken on the 16th of February 2018.

Majongwe said what happened at Zimsec was unacceptable as it was setting a dangerous precedence to the examinations and credibility of a country that has done very well in terms of education.

The paper has been nullified due to national leakage. Majongwe said they were not going to be intimidated by the threats which were being given to the leadership for informing its members against the goings on concerning the Zimsec saga for simply communicating to its members of what has happened.

As a union, he said, they have an obligation to inform their members but now people think that the union has sold out because they had a meeting with the permanent secretary. He said that holding a meeting is not tantamount to selling out.

“It’s quite disappointing that in our pursuit of informing our members others are taking advantage to attack the leadership simply for communicating what has been happening. We are very disappointed that as the PTUZ, we have consistently updated our members on what is going on and we have not hidden anything. We even advised our members to tune in to Star FM and Capitalk radio stations so that they listen to the discussions concerning the re-write of the English Paper 2 exam,” he said.

“What is surprising is that we are now getting messages from certain Zimbabweans that we are misinforming people. We want to dismiss this message. We have been consistently very adamant saying we cannot make a decision without prior involvement and consultations with our members. We are not going to compromise anything as we have the issue of our relevance in terms of professionalism on the line. We cannot allow some people to make money out of our sweat and accuse us of what we have not done,” Majongwe said.

Majongwe mentioned that PTUZ always stand by the members given to them by its members.

He assured members not be afraid and said the date for demonstrations will be announced won’t allow ZIMSEC to abuse the union.

“Last year we wrote a letter when the Grade 7 examination was written and we told them that the paper did not meet what we thought were the minimums as there were wrong answers, questions and spelling mistakes that we thought were elementary to be acceptable. There after we made noise when the issue of leakages started coming up and nobody listened. We then approached the Minister and Government to let them know that it was unacceptable to punish the innocent because somebody made money and a few cheated, ”Majongwe revealed.

As a country, he said, Zimsec has betrayed and let down the nation as it is unacceptable to watch someone doing corruption only because he or she is a politician and have authority to get away with murder.

In as far as PTUZ is concerned, the integrity that ZIMSEC and the ministry want to protect will never be protected for as long as these issues are not addressed.

“We must make sure that ZIMSEC is correct and legitimate. We cannot punish children who wrote their exams through brail who are visually impaired. We are urging for the culprits to be looked after and allow everybody to go collect their results. Some children are out of the country and others don’t have access to information then what will happen to them? We will not let down the people because this re-write is illegal,” he said.

Through Raymond Majongwe speaking, PTUZ suggested a demonstration to intervene for the mistreatment of children.