Bring back Cambridge exams: MP

HARARE - A  legislator has demanded the reinstatement of Cambridge examinations to replace the Zimbabwe Schools Examinations Council (Zimsec).

Zanu PF MP, Fani Phiri, last week said Zimsec has been associated with examination paper leakages which have discredited the body.

The latest 2013 ‘O’ Level exam results saw a 2 percent rise in the pass rate to 20 percent.
“We continue to have leakages in Zimsec. Did this contribute to the low pass rate we have been having for the past few years, since we started the Zimsec?

“This has discredited our education so can we revert back to Cambridge examinations?” asked Phiri.

However, Lazarus Dokora, Primary and Secondary Education, minister defended Zimsec saying it was introduced in the education system in consultation with Cambridge Examination Board and is internationally-recognised. 

“There is no change in the examination system from Cambridge, the only difference is that marking is now done here”, Dokora said.

“When we introduced Zimsec, we had worked in conjunction with Cambridge and they approved our examination board.

“It is not correct we have a low pass rate this year as we have a major improvement in pass rate from the previous years.”

Dokora said this year’s ‘O’ Level pass rate was much better compared to the previous years as his ministry has been engaging teachers and headmasters to spend much more time teaching in schools, rather than focusing on non-professional duties.

“We look at the students with five credits pass and with those who have 4 or 3 credits passes, and it is quite high compared to other years,” Dokora said.

His deputy, Paul Mavima, also backed Zimsec.

“The leakages take place at the school level and not at Zimsec or in transmissions to district centres”, Mavima said.

“It is at schools where we are having problems. We are trying to identify the problem and we have set up a committee together with Zimsec to investigate on where the leakages are starting.”

Comments (19)

Our Honourable Minister should be honourable enough to accept reality. The Minister is in that office to ensure that educational standards in the country are at par with those of the international community. Our standard has nose dived. Exam papers are leaked year in year out. Some candidates pass subjects which they did not sit for. To call a spade a spade Zimsec is just below standard. The Minister may deny this but that is tantamount to a man hiding behind his finger. In fact Zimsec is accepted in many instances with suspicion both by employers and at higher learning institutions. To say Zimsec is at par with Cambridge is simply a lie. If the Minister wants to know the truth let him put in place structures which make it easy for one to choose between Zimsec and Cambridge. No one would register with Zimsec including the Minister's children and relatives. In any case why are his kith and kin writing their exams with Cambridge and Oxford if it is the same as Zimsec. WHY? Lets call a spade a spade. We have no option that is why we are Zimsec graduates.

mosquito - 17 February 2014

Ho can he say with a straight face that its not true that we had a low pass rate? What is 20%? Does he see that as a high pass rate, really? Kupenga hakuridzigwi bhera, handiti?

TRIPE - 17 February 2014

I agree with you Fani Phiri bring cambridge back,

deeds - 17 February 2014

Please just bring back Cambridge Examinations, please!

Methodology - 17 February 2014

endesai vana kuzvikoro zvinonyoresa cambridge.

jonso - 17 February 2014

Horaiti horaitizve Mkom Dokora. Fine Zimsec yenyu iri bho, but have you really looked at the quality of the education, never mind the schools themselves? It has been diluted bambo, kuita mutuwi chaiwo bambo. Kuti mwana wechikoro anopedza 'O' Level asingazive Mendelian Law of Segregation, or the plant or animal cell in detail. Iwo ma schools acho! varume, bunsen burner i candle, beaker racho icup yerata, mercury haambofi akazoiziva nekuti papasina fully equipped laboratory pa school iyo iri mukatikati meruzevha, vanogona vakati 'kumachonyonyo'. Saka we have a lot of half baked 'literate specimens' moving around, some of who had their bright academic future spoiled by these short cut education policies. Zimsec would be fine if only the quality of education had remained high. So we can brag loudly about our high literacy rate, but the holders are semi literate about real issues in life. Like the true meaning of politics.

Overman Sanatorium - 17 February 2014

What Cambridge are you talking of. The current Cambridge exams actually lowered their grades and exam questions to achieve a higher pass rate. The Zimsec exams are actually of a higher quality than the current Cambridge exams as they are still based on the old Cambridge system. So Comrades Phiri, Dokora and the above commentators are talking what they don't know. Rather the minister should have in place a system whereby schools that have exam leaks are given a different paper to write immediately after a leak is discovered thereby avoiding prejudicing some innocent students who happen to be students at such schools.

gilbert magwasha - 17 February 2014

Who said Cambridge exams are not leaking? They are just not being monitored with interest at national level. If the exams are leaking at school level, it will not matter whether its ZIMSECH, CAMBRIDGE OR LONDON exam boards. Kuna VaPhiri, Cambridge exams are not banned in Zimbabwe. Pupils still write the cambridge exams, mari yako chete. Saka bhadharirai mwana wenyu Cambridge kana iriyo yamunoda. Apasa mumuendesa paLocal University paanototengeswa in kind kana nemari. After that you have an inetrnationally recognised degree, diploma etc. So where is the difference?

shamiso - 18 February 2014

sitting for Cambridge exams will be a good test on how good our education system. minister we are lying to ourselves tichizvipa zvimaliteracy rate zvekunyepa.

mdara - 18 February 2014

this funny phiri needs help, Cambridge is there already. Is it because he is alien, just let those who want to write cambrigde do so and let the Zimsec continue or just go to Malawi.

reason - 18 February 2014

kusaziva hufa chokwadi hanzi cambridge ndiyo chaiyo ini ndakanyora Zimsec ndikaita 2As 7Bs and a C But Cambridge i have 7As 2Bs. pliz kuleaker kwepapaer hakunei kuti i zimsec kana kuti cambridge. zim has a whole data seyecambridge hapana musiyano kubvunzwa kwakangofanana kasi munofunga kuti chinobva kuvarungu chakakosha maningi kikkkkkkkkk. inga zvavakubuda wani kuti the bible was edited to suit the colonial masters namely the Europeans ese amuinawo mucharasa becoz the truth will soon be available. maproper documents anotsigira zvandiri kutaura avapo ende mafuza muchashamiswa. munongotevera zvauya nevarungu vana venyoka kuti ndezvamwari ndizvo chaizvo kikkkkkkkkk shame on you Africans. your minds were missioned and there is need for demissioning back to original Africans. lazy dogs who think whites are heavenly gifted. vateverei vana venyoka ivavo tione kuti muchasara muinei pachenyu. bodo cho isu vamwe takatozviramba kunzi umu ndimo munamwari ukamboona kupi kurarama kwakaita munhu akafanana newe kuchinji these are true words from the God. kiiiiiiiiiiiii shame seka hako mukorekore. you are miopic minded thats why you always follow even your death trap unknowingly muchiti tinashe. food for thought

dzvombi - 18 February 2014

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CARTRIDGEGALLERY - 18 February 2014

Reality on the ground point to a Zimsec that is tougher than the cambridge, give the same Zimsec exam to those who write cambridge, you will be shocked. Zimsec is fine, we need to attend to our education system. Lets address the real issues. Not for cambridge myself.

George Moyo - 18 February 2014

I salute my comrade Fani, it shows you exist as our honourable MP for kadoma central unlike that old woman who used to lay eggs in parliament. i therefore recommend you to focus more on issues affecting your constituency rather than national. huyai munharaunda ndokwakabva vhoti kwete kucambridge.

cde panyo - 18 February 2014

@dzvumbi can you be kind enough to tell the readers why you chose to write Cambridge if there is nothing wrong with ZIMSEC? The whole essence of this discussion and the Hon. MP's concern is on credibility of our local exams. The children of our leaders (including the Minister's children ) don't write ZIMSEC exams? Why - credibility

kudakwashe - 18 February 2014

Please MrDokora did you write zimsec,let all childern write fair cambridge .Zimsec some mostly pass coz of leakage stop this we want fairness.

SHEREBI - 19 February 2014

I don't know where the minister got the notion that Zimsec is internationally recognized. I doubt if his kids wrote zimsec- can someone find out please? Zimsec is nationally recognized at Border Gezi yes. But if you want to study in countries like Australia, or Canada you need better English called IELTS. The only reason being that they know loopholes in Zimsec. Even professionals trying to work overseas have to write the English even if they have As in Zimsec English. Isnt this an opportunity for us to critically evaluate Zimsec minister?? I hope you wont see this in the eyes of imperialism minister.

joe madas - 19 February 2014

I do agree with those that said it is hard to get a job or a place in an international university if you wrote zimsec. for now I think the best solution is for schools to have an option whether a student wants to write zimsec or cambridge

rukudzo - 25 May 2015

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