Wednesday, September 22, 2021
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School heads lament expensive science exam materials

Star Matsongoni

MASVINGO – As the November 2019 Zimbabwe School Examination Council’s
(Zimsec) final examinations for ‘O’ and ‘A’ level approach, school heads in and
around Masvingo are worried by the costs of running science exams.
The costs of a Zimsec final
science exam are proving to be higher than what most schools can afford owing
to the little exam fees being charged.
School heads complain that the
prices of such exam requirements as laboratory chemicals, instruments, gases
and protective clothing like gloves were beyond their reach.
One school head who spoke to
TellZim News said his school was likely to fail to meet the requirements unless
a levy for the purchase of materials was introduced.
“We have no choice here but to
charge a levy so that we can afford to buy science materials as they are expensive.
This is a disadvantage to the parents as they are not spared with this economic
situation and are already struggling to pay school and exam fees,” the school
head said.
Another head said if they failed
to charge an extra levy, then they would have to reuse the material from previous
years as new material was unaffordable.
“We will use old material, but
that will give our pupils a disadvantage since they will not be able to meet
the standards set by Zimsec,” said the head.  
Another head criticised the
requirements of the updated curriculum saying they were not responsive to the
prevailing situation in the country.
“The new curriculum should be
repealed. The old curriculum did not require us to buy these expensive and
harmful chemicals as we are now required to do. As smaller schools, we are at a
disadvantage because we do not have the state-of-the-art laboratories suitable
for the exams and this is affecting pupils and our staff,” said the school
Last year, some
‘O’ level chemistry candidates and lab technicians suffered seizures and
convulsions caused by the highly-concentrated Ammonia they were required to
 Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz)
attempted to sue the ministry but failed as they could not provide witnesses.
Many teachers
refused to testify as they feared victimisation by their parent ministry.

TellZim News is the leading news organization in the Southern region. It provides candid, balanced and timely news from the communities. Keeping it real. Committed to tell Zimbabwe.

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