The Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (ZIMSEC) released results for both A-level and O-level in May 2009, rather than in February. Due to the delays, students were admitted into A-level using mid-year school examination results, or school assessments. But most lost their A-level places after failing.
Some never received their results due to bungling at ZIMSEC. Some schools gave the failed students a chance by supplementing O-levels by writing in June. This dispensation was to give a boost to ZIMSEC. But students, and their parents, were cleverer.
Enrolment for Cambridge examinations has soared to nearly 60%, from about 30% last year, a school administrator said.
Registration with ZIMSEC for June examinations has plummeted, from 30,966 last year for O-level to 4,900 this year, and 4,077 for A-level last year to 800 this year.
ZIMSEC director Happy Ndanga, thinks the use of foreign currency has resulted in the low registration numbers, but admits confidence in local examinations is too low. People find it better to spend on a credible qualification like Cambridge.
Dumisani Ndlela is a Zimbabwean journalist specialising in business and financial reporting, with experience reporting on commodities, stock and financial markets, advertising, marketing and the media. He has previously reported from a number of regional countries as well as from the UK and Germany on commodities and regional integration. He can be contacted on .
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