Ordinary Level Accounts, Economics and Business Studies candidates are today set to sit all the three papers after taking a break of only 20 minutes following a clash in the examination timetable.
The Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) candidates would be given a break of between 15 to 20 minutes before writing their next paper.
Normally, candidates usually sit for two examinations in a day, in the morning and afternoon, giving pupils enough time to rest before taking the next examination.
Zimsec spokesperson Ms Nicky Dlamini yesterday said the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education as well as the examinations body have noted the problem and would ensure that it does not occur again.
“Our timetable has all the learning areas as supplied by the curriculum, there are now more learning areas than what was there before. I don’t know whether candidates were not advised well on how to choose a subject and this is what has caused these clashes,” said Ms Dlamini.
“However, when we created the time table we didn’t foresee any clashes. It is only when the candidate register that they realise that they have subjects that then clash on the time table.”
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe president Dr Takavafira Zhou said teachers have raised concerns over today’s examinations.
“The clashing subjects are in the economics learning areas and these are Accounts, Economics and Business Studies. The speciman papers came late from Zimsec and there were schools that had already chosen combinations that could have been avoided which saw candidates paying examination fees in those areas.
“So what is going to happen is that candidates would be given between 15 to 20 minutes before they sit for another exam,” said Dr Zhou.
He said the clash in examination papers could affect the overall performance of candidates.
“I think the issue is that when the first exam had been a bit difficult or challenging it will also mean that it will affect your performance in the other exam, because you will be seriously pondering about your performance in the first paper. And it also does not give you enough time to rest and prepare for the next paper,” he said. — @nqotshili