Saturday, September 18, 2021

Masvingo Poly in HEXCO exam scandal

…students refuse to re-write, threaten legal action
Masvingo Polytechnic is reportedly embroiled in a
Higher Education Examination Council (Hexco) exam cheating scandal which has
seen some results of the November 13, 2018 being suspended.
Students from commerce, diesel plant fitting,
technical graphics and engineering among others could not get their results.
The disaffected students have now refused to re-write and they have threatened
to approach the minister before taking legal action.
On November 13, 2018, students across various
disciplines used the Masvingo Poly’s dining hall as the examination venue and
during the course of the examination, Hexco external assessors are said to have
caught some students cheating.
The cheating students are said to have written
formulas on rules and the external assessors are said to have taken down the
names of those students but had to let them proceed with the examination.
Under normal examination rules, if a student is caught
cheating, they are immediately withdrawn from the examination and suspended from
school, with all other results nullified.
Though Masvingo Poly vice principal Albert Somerai professed
ignorance on the matter, various sources at the institution complained that
Hexco external assessors’ own ineptitude were disadvantaging many innocent
A source close said the assessors should have punished
the students at that instant not to suspend the results of all students.
“They tried to put the blame on our lecturers here but
they are the ones who failed to do their job. They discovered an anomaly and
decided to let it go. They did not even have the names of the students they
said they had caught cheating. Masvingo Poly was against the idea of punishing
all students for the crimes of a few.
“So the institution decided to give everyone the
benefit of the doubt and offered to have them write another paper which would
be marked quickly and results published,” said the source.
Hexco Masvingo board member, Mbewe admitted he knew of
the matter but distanced the examination body from the scandal saying when it
happened, their people were not there.
“We only got to know about the matter after it had
already happened. We are yet to sit down with Masvingo Poly to map the way
forward. Our people were not there as is being said,” said Mbewe. 
Results for those who wrote their examination on
November 13 in the dining hall came with an R which means deferred.
Higher and Tertiary Education minister Amon Murwira
could not be reached for comment by the time of going to print.
TellZim News has, however, been informed that the
disgruntled students have refused numerous offers to re-write the exams.
“After the publication of results, all the students
who wrote their exams on November 13 in the dining hall had an R symbol on the
result slip which means deferred.
“We then asked why this is so and they lied to us
saying our results were still being processed. On January 15, they called some
students saying there was a rewrite on January 18. We asked why a re-write and
they told us that some of us cheated.
“We refused to re-write and we are going to approach
the minister and take legal action against them. They should not play with our
future like this,” said one student.
Another student weighed in saying it was instead, the
assessors who should face disciplinary action because they failed to do their
jobs properly.
“Imagine police officers getting into a club searching
for drugs and find them. They leave the drugs there and go away only to come
back saying we do not remember who had the drugs so we are arresting everybody.
That is our situation,” said the student.

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