On Tuesday we were startled to learn that the government wanted the November examinations to go ahead. This is the latest contradictory message from the government and we are not even sure what Minister Mutsvangwa meant by this. Our guess was that she just meant to say that the government was working on schools to reopen in a process that would eventually end with final year students writing examinations. It appears we are not the only ones confused.

Amalgamated Rural Teachers of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) have also expressed outrage over the proposition. Like us it seems they are confused as to whether Minister Mutsvangwa was speaking literally about the November examinations or she meant something else. They seem to have settled on her being literal and were scathing in their criticism over the proposed reopening calendar:

The Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council, ZIMSEC once again announced an exclusionary examinations’ calendar where Grade 7,
Ordinary level and Advanced level examinations are to be conducted this November 2020 as scheduled.

The examinations will be forced down the throats of over 650 000 unprepared learners who had no access to remote learning after
COVID19 induced schools closure of 24 March 2020 at the expense of an average of 32 000 elite learners who enjoyed exclusionary
access to online learning will be ready for these apartheid examinations.

The November examinations are a perpetuation of the apartheid system, under which the right to education is now a preserve of the
rich minority who have access to online learning. It is practically impossible to frog march these ill-prepared learners into the examination room and expect them to cough out good results. Apart from the minority elite learners, the rest will fail.

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