ARTUZ raises concerns over new ZIMSEC exam paper measures

ARTUZ has called for a comprehensive review of ZIMSEC's security protocols throughout the entire examination process, including production, storage, distribution, collection, and writing.

HARARE – The Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) has expressed skepticism regarding the recent government measures aimed at curbing the rampant leakages of public examination papers managed by the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (ZIMSEC).

Under these new measures introduced by the government examination body, question papers will now be transported to the examination centers on the day of writing.

However, ARTUZ has criticized these measures as a “feeble” attempt that lacks a basic understanding of the real causes of the leakages.

The teachers’ union argues that the new measures will place unnecessary burdens on teachers acting as invigilators and the examination candidates who will have to contend with potential inconsistencies due to the experimental policy.

ARTUZ aimed to correct the notion that exam paper leakages only occur within school strong rooms during storage.

The union claims that leakages take place long before the papers even reach these facilities, starting from the creation and review of papers to their final printing.

The group identified weaknesses in the strong room storage systems and the management of soft copies within databases.

Among the points of leakage identified by ARTUZ is the movement of printed papers from district centers to individual schools, with school officials managing transportation in the absence of ZIMSEC supervision.

ARTUZ School children attend a ZIMSEC class in the Shona language on the first day of term at the Vimbai Primary School in Norton, west of the capital Harare, in Zimbabwe Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019. Former president Robert Mugabe, who enjoyed strong backing from Zimbabwe's people after taking over in 1980 but whose support waned following decades of repression, economic mismanagement and allegations of election-rigging, is expected to be buried on Sunday, state media reported. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
FILE: School children attend a class in the Shona language on the first day of term at the Vimbai Primary School in Norton, west of the capital Harare, in Zimbabwe Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

To address these issues, ARTUZ has called for a comprehensive review of ZIMSEC‘s security protocols throughout the entire examination process, including production, storage, distribution, collection, and writing.

They also urged the establishment of a dedicated security unit responsible for the secure transportation of examination papers from district centers to schools.

ARTUZ proposed introducing a robust digital proofing system, such as coding all examination papers, to detect unauthorized access before the designated time.

They also called for a reevaluation of the current form of assessment and suggested implementing competency-based evaluation to reduce reliance on high-stakes, one-time seating examinations.

Additionally, the union recommended the enactment of educational policies that prioritize skills and professional competence over the importance of certificates.

They called for an urgent educational commission of inquiry at ZIMSEC to address allegations of nepotism, staff incompetence, and the overall reform of the examinations board.

ARTUZ’s concerns reflect a broader challenge in ensuring the integrity and security of examination processes in Zimbabwe.

The government and ZIMSEC may need to consider these recommendations to bolster their efforts in preventing paper leakages and maintaining the credibility of the country’s educational assessment system.

RosGwen24 News
RosGwen24 News
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