Exam 'cheats' sue Zimsec

Exam 'cheats' sue Zimsec
Published: 27 February 2018
FIFTEEN Regina Mundi High School pupils who were blacklisted for alleged examination cheating have taken the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) and the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Professor Paul Mavhima to court challenging the nullification of their November 2017 results.

The 15 pupils, through their parents, have filed a court application at the Bulawayo High Court seeking an order directing Zimsec to set aside its decision to cancel their November 2017 examination results.

One of the pupils, believed to be the mastermind, is alleged to have mobilised her classmates to contribute $3 each towards raising money that was used to purchase copies of the November 2017 Examinations question papers for English Paper two and Mathematics Paper two.

According to court papers, the pupil allegedly received the question papers on her mobile phone via social media platform, WhatsApp, and shared them with her classmates. They then allegedly smuggled the papers into the examination room.

One of the 15 parents representing the pupils said Zimsec blacklisted his child without making an enquiry to establish the facts.

"This application is made to review the decision adopted by Zimsec to annul all the results of the applicants on allegations of cheating. It is also the basis of this application in that the reasons of the decision reached by Zimsec have not been availed. At the same time, there is no averment on the enquiry made and its nature before the decision was arrived at, let alone the evidence used in the process," the parent, whose name has been withheld to protect the identity of the minor, said in his founding affidavit.

He said the pupils were unfairly treated.

The parent said they received the message of the nullification of results from a school official through WhatsApp.

"The decision of Zimsec should not be allowed to prevail. Whilst awaiting my daughter's results, I received a WhatsApp message from a Regina Mundi High School official on 12 February 2018 at around 6PM who advised me that my daughter has been blacklisted. There was no letter given to the affected pupils," he said.

He also said Zimsec conducted its own enquiry and quizzed two pupils who then ultimately implicated all the applicants. "Whilst the November examinations were still ongoing, my daughter together with many other boarders accused of cheating were called and lumped up together in the base room of the school while the rest of the pupils were put in the school hall. They were asked to write about the exam cheating incident that had allegedly occurred," he said.

The parents' lawyers, Garikayi and Company, said the pupils' rights were violated in terms of section 3 of the Administrative Justice Act because they did not appear before a proper board to defend themselves.

Section 34 (3) of the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council Act stipulates that it shall not be necessary for the Zimsec board to consult or hear representations before cancelling or annulling the results of an examination.

"However, I am advised that this section is contrary to section 68 of the constitution of Zimbabwe, which stipulates that every person has a right to administrative conduct that is lawful, reasonable and both substantively and procedurally fair. Section 34 of the Zimsec Act is also contrary to section 81 (1) of the constitution which recognises the right of children to be heard," the lawyers said.

They said the decision by Zimsec to blacklist the pupils and nullify their results is draconian, irrational and grossly unreasonable.

"The nullification of results for subjects which do not form part of the allegations is unfair and unjust considering that there was no misconduct alleged in these examinations," said the lawyers.

Two weeks ago, High Court judge Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo overturned Prof Mavhima's order compelling all the 260 000 students who sat for last November's Ordinary Level English Paper 2 examination to be re-examined.

The judge ordered Zimsec to consider releasing results using the outcome of the English Language Paper 1 examination.

Prof Mavhima had ordered a re-sit following reports of massive leakages of the paper through social media.

Justice Matanda-Moyo castigated Zimsec's conduct, saying it was going to cause more harm to the pupils than good.
- newsday
Tags: Exam, Cheat,


Latest News

Latest Published Reports

Latest jobs