Primary and Secondary Education Director for Communications Mr Taungana Ndoro has said that public exams are set to ahead despite the increase in the cases of CoVid-19 in schools.
More than 600 000 pupils are expected to sit for these exams in the country. Mr Ndoro also added that the students had prepared adequately.
Earlier, another government official had said that the exams were necessary as they fed into higher and tertiary institutions.
Giving oral evidence before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Primary and Secondary Education chaired by Matabeleland South Proportional Representative Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga on Tuesday, Education Ministry secretary Tumisang Thabela said scrapping the exams will cripple higher and tertiary institutions in 2021.
Mr Ndoro reiterated this position saying that pupils who have contracted Covid-19 will write in isolation while the examination rooms will continuously be disinfected to curb the possible spread of the pandemic in schools.
As of last week Friday, there were 184 cases at John Tallach in Ntabazinduna, 57 cases at Chinhoyi High, more than 20 cases at All Souls Mission, 19 cases at Anderson Adventist High, more than 10 cases at Matopo High, three cases at Rujeko Primary, among others.
Mr Ndoro said Covid-19 cases recorded in schools was a minor setback considering that there were about 300 cases against a student population of 45 million.
Mr Ndoro further said Zimbabwe was the only country in Africa that had managed to hold the examinations successfully in June at the peak of the pandemic due to robust standard operating procedures implemented by the ministry.
“We are aware that there may be cases in schools and among school pupils. This is just a minor setback. We are going ahead with the Zimsec examinations despite the pandemic. We are the only country that managed to hold the examinations at the peak of the pandemic. So, we have very efficient standard operation procedures that we have put in place to ensure early detection of cases in schools.
So, the pandemic is there as a distraction but as a ministry we will not be defeated by the pandemic. The focus is on the country’s socio-economic development which is driven by the education sector.