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NAQEZ urges moving school leavers exams to December

THE National Action for Quality Education in Zambia says this year’s grade 7, 9 and 12 final examinations should be moved to December to give teachers and pupils more time to to prepare for the exams.

And NAQEZ executive director Aaron Chansa has proposed that schools reopen on August 23 as August 16 was too close to the general elections.

The government has announced that pre, primary and secondary schools would remain closed and re-open on Monday August 16, subject to the inspection and certification by the ministries of general education and health in conjunction with the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU), depending on the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chansa said exams were not constitutional matters and tables can be adjusted.

“Adjusting will give teachers and pupils some time to prepare for these exams. The time table for exams can always be adjusted. And we expect this year’s exams to be tailor-made, only examining pupils on topics they will have covered. It would be academic injustice to bring national exams based on entire syllabi,” he said.

And Chansa said reopening schools after elections was welcome but the 16th was too close to the poll day.

He said four days after a general election would not be ideal due to so many electoral activities that follow an election.

“These electoral activities will also involve three quarters of teachers most of whom will have to travel long distances from rural polling stations to homes,” he said. “23rd August in our view would be much better than 16th. This is assuming that the evolution of the virus will see reduction of positive cases in the country.”

Chansa said going forward the country needs to fundamentally review the national education policy and the curriculum to make them responsive to latest needs.

“We need to reduce number of subjects, remove some topics, include COVID-19 friendly teaching methodologies, a strong emphasis on practical skills,” said Chansa.

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