Minister clears public holiday exam confusion, MDC condemns school disruption

HARARE – A government declaration of October 25 as a public holiday created widespread uncertainty for tens of thousands of pupils due to sit their examinations on Friday.

Ministers were accused of “acting now and thinking later” by the MDC, which is not taking part in an anti-sanctions march called by the government.

Primary and Secondary Education Minister Paul Mavima issued a statement on Tuesday to insist that the examinations timetable should not be disrupted.

“When the government declared October 25 a public holiday to mark SADC Solidarity Day against illegal western sanctions, it was aware that O’ and A’ Level exams were in progress,” Mavima said.

“In this regard, examinations scheduled for October 25 shall be written as per timetable.”

The MDC’s education secretary Fadzayi Mahere said the government had caused unnecessary confusion, and was critical of the decision to disrupt the school calendar.

“This is what happens when you have a government that acts first and then thinks later. After public outcry that exams would be disrupted by Sanctions Day, Mavima belatedly says exams will be written on the public holiday. They miss the point: no learning must be disrupted at all,” Mahere said.

The government is also taking brickbats for asking schools around Harare to send children into a training camp to be drum majorettes for the procession.

“It’s a profoundly disturbing development allowed by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education,” said former education minister David Coltart.

“Children should not be forced to go to political marches of this nature, particularly over the exam period. I am very disappointed in the permanent secretary and minister who should know better.”

Source: Zim Live

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