The Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) has provisionally pushed back this year’s June examinations by a month.

The decision was reached by senior Zimsec officials last week at a meeting to consider the impact of the current coronavirus lockdown on the exams. However, the exams management body has since completed printing the examination papers.

Zimsec board chair, Professor Eddie Mwenje, said the provisional dates were subject to change depending on the position taken by Government at the end of the extended lockdown period next week.

“We met on Friday and managed to check the level of preparedness by Zimsec and they have completed printing of the papers for the June examinations. We can say that they are ready to stage the examinations. What we have advised them to do is to push the starting date by two to four weeks,” he said.

He added that the body took into consideration that candidates for the June exams would ordinarily have been studying for a long time.

“So, we advised Zimsec to consider pushing the exams by a minimum two weeks and maximum of four weeks so that it does not clash with other lessons for the November examinations. Instead of the exams beginning late May, they may be pushed to begin mid-June. Although there is no extension for the June examinations registration, we are considering pushing the dates. We also spoke of social distancing during these examinations.

However, all this is also subject to Government pronouncement on May 3 when the current lockdown ends.”

There had been debate on how the June examinations would be handled in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) president Dr Takavafira Zhou said it was possible for the exams to be written in June.

“Schools were closed in March, so candidates had enough time to prepare. I see no harm in starting the exams two weeks after the original date.”

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