” Exam Cheats” In Court Monday
7 March 2018
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The hearing of a matter involving 15 Gweru-based Regina Mundi High School pupils who were blacklisted by the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) for alleged examination cheating has been set for March 12.

Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Nokuthula Moyo will preside over the hearing.

The 15 pupils, through their parents, filed a court application at the Bulawayo High Court challenging the nullification of their November 2017 results by Zimsec.

They are seeking an order directing Zimsec to set aside its decision to cancel their November 2017 examination results.

In papers before the court, the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Professor Paul Mavhima and Zimsec were cited as respondents.

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 2 and Mathematics Paper 2.

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 inquiry 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 inquiry 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.

He also said Zimsec conducted its own inquiry and quizzed two pupils who then ultimately implicated all the applicants.

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.

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.

Recently, 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 release results using the outcome of the English Language Paper 1 examination and the examinations body complied with the order.

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