Zimbabwe High Court Rules No re-write of English Paper 2

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High Court judge Justice Loice Matanda Moyo sitting with Justice Priscilla Munangati-Manongwa reversed the decision by the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (ZIMSEC) to order a rewrite for the 2017 Ordinary Level English Paper 2 saying it was inconsiderate.

However, the court said that it cannot condone criminality as cheating had indeed taken place and confirmed the decision to nullify the results for the English Language Paper Two.

In a welcome development for most students, the re-sit for the paper which was supposed to take place this Friday has been cancelled and the students will be graded on the results of English Paper One only.

This comes after parents representing two minor children who wrote their Ordinary Level examinations last year challenged the decision by Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Professor Paul Mavima to nullify the results and filed an urgent chamber application.

The two parents Victor Mukomeka and Chingasiyeni were represented by Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) member, Denford Halimani of Wintertons.

The parents argued that Professor Mavima had breached constitutional provisions by annulling the results when only ZIMSEC could do so.

They wanted the re-sit conducted variably or to be cancelled altogether and argued that the 8-day period set aside for students to prepare for the re-sit “is inadequate and unduly constraining.”

According to the lawyer for the respondents, Mavima and ZIMSEC, Tawanda Zvobgo, it was imperative for ZIMSEC to preserve the integrity of the country’s examination system as approximately 15 000 students out of the 260 000 had cheated.

Justice Matanda Moyo was highly critical of ZIMSEC and called for an overhaul of the exams body.

She noted that it would be unfair to punish the innocent along with the guilty and that the re-write would impose a financial burden on parents.

Justice Matanda-Moyo also agreed that the notice given to the students was short.-ZBC