TEACHERS have appealed to the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) to postpone examination registration to avoid the spread of the deadly coronavirus when headmasters travel to provincial and district centres to submit the required papers.
Deadlines for payment of examination fees are March 30, 2020 for the June examinations and April 9, 2020 for the November examinations.
Zimbabwe Teachers Association (Zimta) secretary-general Tapson Sibanda said the registration of exams must continue after the end of Covid-19.
“Our appeal to Zimsec is that they should postpone the deadlines for examination registration.
“These are the deadlines that are causing panic.
“We also note that even some banks are no longer functional as some branches have closed countrywide as a way of controlling coronavirus.
“So, heads and teachers have to travel long distances of over 400km to process the registration.
“That alone exposes them to high chances of contracting the virus.
“Also, according to Zimsec guidelines on registration of exam classes, failure to meet the deadline will attract a fine of above $1 000, which in case of primary schools, some do not even have that money.
Zimta said the move will allow people to observe social distancing.
“It is therefore our realisation that Zimsec is not sensitive to the possible effects of our failure as a nation to take such precautionary measures as maintaining social distance amongst ourselves.
“Covid-19 is a reality. We need not wait until a calamitous situation befalls us before we act.
“A loss of just one life as a result of our recklessness should not be tolerated.
“In fact, we call for a complete lockdown in the country for a while, as this is the only way we can combat this deadly virus.
“A minute, hour or day’s delay in taking such proactive measures may cost the country dearly.”Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) president Takavafira Zhou, pictured, said they had approached Zimsec urging them to postpone the registration.
“The Zimsec examination registration process that requires that 9 159 school heads travel to Zimsec centres by March 30, 2020 is a threat to their health and safety.
“In practice, this entails that the majority of these heads would travel for more than 450km to and from centres, making them susceptible to coronavirus,” Zhou said.