O-Level results withheld over $250 debt

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THE Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) is withholding the November 2014 O-Level examination results for 33 pupils from Sibhula Secondary School in Gwanda over a $250 debt that the school owes it.Sibhula Secondary School in Wenlock area, Gwanda North, is said to have accrued the debt in 2009.

The candidates prejudiced from accessing their results include both the school’s internal and private candidates.

Fuming parents confirmed that their children were failing to access their results from the school.

“I went to the school to collect my child’s results but was told Zimsec is withholding all results to pressurise the school to pay $250 it owes the examination body. The debt is said to belong to the 2009 Zimsec O-Level class. We don’t understand why and how our children are now being made to suffer for another group’s sins,” said a parent who preferred anonymity.

A parent of a private candidate, Anele Nduna Ndlovu, said he had been phoning the school to check on his child’s results, but to no avail.

He said he was a frustrated man as children who sit for their public exams at the school have been experiencing the same problem over the past years.

“All that we are told is that Zimsec has indicated it would not release the results until an outstanding examination fee debt is cleared.
“Our children are innocent; they are not in any way connected to this debt. We had the same problem again last year. Our children got the results around May. We are very disappointed with this. The people responsible for this must attend to it as a matter of urgency,” said Ndlovu.

The parents said they were tired of the “dirty games” being played by Zimsec and the school authorities.

“Last year I had to engage the Zimsec Harare offices for the results to be released. We hope next year things will be different,” said Ndlovu.

However, some parents blamed the school headmaster, Bukhosi Madlela, for failing to settle the problem with Zimsec.

Parents said they suspected that there was something fishy about the Zimsec debt issue.

Madlela confirmed that his school failed to collect its 2014 Zimsec results after he was turned away by Zimsec officials in Gwanda Town on Monday.

He, however, could not give further details saying he was not allowed to speak to the Press.

“It’s true I was turned away yesterday (Monday) over a debt but you can get the whole story from Zimsec,” he said.

Matabeleland South Provincial Education Director, Tumisang Thabela confirmed the Sibhula Secondary School matter.

She said the school encountered problems when collecting the results last year but quickly added that she had not received any report of the matter this year.

“Last year we asked Zimsec to consider recovering their money using other means that don’t affect the collection of results,” she said.

However, a Zimsec official in Harare denied the allegations that Sibhula Secondary School head was turned away without the results.

“According to the Zimsec officers in Gwanda, the school head has not approached them to collect the results. It is, however, true that Sibhula has an outstanding debt but no one was turned away,” said the official.

In 2009, about 25 candidates wrote their Zimsec O-Level exams without paying exam fees following an arrangement between the school and Zimsec.

Candidates were expected to settle what they owed Zimsec later.

However, most of the parents of the 2009 O-Level candidates failed to pay what they owed, leaving the school with a debt of $1,150.

It is said the school has over the past years been fundraising to settle the debt.

Some of the Zimsec O-Level examinations results of the 2009 candidates are still being held by the school for non-payment of exam fees.Chronicle

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