The government has suspended the Zimbabwe School Examination Council (ZIMSEC) June Ordinary and Advanced level examinations.

According to government, this has been necessitated by the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted on the scheduling and cycle of public examinations.

Speaking to members of the press in Harare today, Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Monica Mutsvangwa said cabinet considered and approved a request for the suspension of the ZIMSEC June 2021 Ordinary and Advanced Level Examination Session, which was presented by the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.

“Cabinet was advised that the COVID-19 pandemic that broke out in 2020 had negatively impacted on the timing and cycle of public examinations, with the 2020 Grade 7, ‘O’ Level and ‘A’ Level examinations having commenced in early December 2020 and ended in early February 2021, instead of the usual period stretching from October to November of each year.

“The delay in writing and the marking of the previous examinations has affected the preparation and the setting of the next examination hence the decision to temporarily suspend the June 2021 examinations.

“This suspension of the June 2021 examination session will allow for timely focus on the November examination preparations and aid an effective focus of resources.

“Logistics will be put in place to ensure that the candidates who may have wanted to sit for their examinations in June 2021 do so together with other students in November 2021,” she said.

Talking about Covid-19 statistics, Senator Mutsvangwa said positivity continues to drop as a result of government efforts to contain infection from the virus.

“Cabinet was informed that as at 6 April 2021, Zimbabwe’s cumulative COVID-19 cases stood at 36 966, with 34 781 recoveries and 1 531 deaths. The recovery rate is 94%, with 35 240 of the COVID-19 cases attributable to local transmission. There are 654 active cases.

She also spoke about the re-opening of casinos under strict health guidelines.

“Cabinet informs the nation that henceforth, casinos will be allowed to re-open with strict observance of COVID-19 guidelines.

“Those found disregarding the guidelines will have their licences revoked.

“Casinos have been closed since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020,” she said.