Amalgamated Rural Teachers of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) have rejected the newly announced school calendar arguing that most rural schools are not adequately prepared due to disturbances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a recent statement, ARTUZ said an average of 32 000 elite learners who enjoyed exclusionary access to online learning will be ready for these ‘apartheid examinations’ while over 650 000 unprepared learners in remote schools suffer.
“The Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council, ZIMSEC once again announced an exclusionary examinations’ calendar where Grade 7, Ordinary level and Advanced level examinations are to be conducted this November 2020 as scheduled.
“The examinations will be forced down the throats of over 650 000 unprepared learners who had no access to remote learning after COVID19 induced schools closure of 24 March 2020 at the expense of an average of 32 000 elite learners who enjoyed exclusionary access to online learning will be ready for these apartheid examinations,” ARTUZ said.
The combative teachers union accused Zimbabwe of adopting an apartheid form of governance under which access to fundamental rights and freedoms is discriminated along class lines.
“The November examinations are a perpetuation of the apartheid system, under which the right to education is now a preserve of the rich minority who have access to online learning,” said ARTUZ.
“It is practically impossible to frog march these ill prepared learners into the examination room and expect them cough out good results. Apart from the minority elite learners, the rest will fail,” the union added.
ARTUZ proposed that the November examinations be moved to May 2021 to afford learners time to prepare.
Schools have remained closed since end of March when the country declared a total lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19.