The Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (ZIMSEC) Act which was enacted in 1994 is set to be amended to align the law with the various developments that have taken place since its enactment.
This was disclosed by Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa during the post-Cabinet briefing on Tuesday.
She said the cabinet considered and approved the Principles of the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Amendment) Bill as presented by the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Evelyn Ndlovu.
Mutsvangwa said: “The nation is being informed that the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (ZIMSEC) Act [Chapter 25:18] was enacted in 1994.
“Since then, numerous developments have occurred in the education sector as well as anomalies that have come to the attention of the ZIMSEC and the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education which require amendment of the Act.”
The amended law will give the ZIMSEC Board power to deregister examination centres that do not comply with ZIMSEC standards of appropriate examination centres.
“The Bill will also strengthen the independence and efficiency of the ZIMSEC Board by equipping it with the necessary skilled persons that can adequately meet ZIMSEC’s mandate.
“In the new Bill, the Board will be given powers to withhold examination results pending investigations by ZIMSEC in cases of examination malpractice such as leakages,” she added.
Mutsvangwa said persons who handle examination material and all those who work closely with ZIMSEC will take an oath of secrecy.
She said a section will be introduced to deal with issues pertaining to conflict of interest among ZIMSEC employees and those that gain access to examination materials.
“Section 35 will be amended to provide additional offences and to further enumerate acts of examination malpractice and their penalties.
“The nation is being informed that it is envisaged the proposals will ensure that the quality of examination services will continue to match world standards,” said Mutsvangwa.
The Bill will also arrest the vice of examination leakages by introducing stiffer penalties in order to deal effectively with offenders.
Last year, 5 156 Advanced and Ordinary level candidates’ results were nullified for having pre-access to examination papers. This saw a number of people involved getting arrested.