Villagers-cum invigilators, education circus rages on

COMMENT
REPORTS circulating in media circles alleging ‘villagers have become overnight invigilators for the Zimbabwe School Examination Council’s June 2020 exams go a long in showing the disjointed nature of operations between government and teacher unions, and should be condemned, as such action brings the whole exam process to disrepute.
While it is commendable to have students sit for exams each calendar year, it is, however, not recommended to take short-cuts in the exam process, as there is nothing to hurry about writing exams while exposing students and teachers to the COVID- 19 pandemic, which is even more fearsome than hiring villagers to be invigilators.
Many questions about such action come to the fore such as the desired qualifications for recruitment of village invigilators, or better still, what qualifications and attributes are required for one to become a qualified professional invigilator?
What measures have been put in place by authorities to make sure that these villager-cum invigilators adhere to the laws and regulations under exam conditions?
It leaves a lot to be desired.
While the government has chosen to hurriedly hold the June 2020 examinations amid concern and calls from teachers unions for the employer to first prioritize the safety of its workers and students – fully – government seems to have chosen to go it alone, or could it be that teachers are wrong in calling on their employer to improve and protect the well-being of all stakeholders, in as far as writing exams and reopening of schools is concerned?
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) secretary-general Raymond Majongwe and the Obert Masaraure led Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe and many other teachers bodies have called on government to effectively open-up communication lines for the betterment of the country’s education system and students at large.
However, government on its part may have its own side of the story, which it is also obliged to have, as it also operates possibly in other dimensions that may not be readily clear to stakeholders in the education sector.
However, going it alone without outright consultations with stakeholders will only lead to such embarrassing incidents that have allegedly turned ordinary villagers with little if any invigilating training skills running exam sessions in some parts of the country, as reported in other local media platforms.
This June 2020 exams schedule will certainly go down in the country’s history as one of the country’s most controversial sittings, since the country attained independence in April 1980, if reports.

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