4 October 2018

Tanzania: Anxiety Over STD 7 Exam Results

Dar es Salaam/Upcountry. Anxiety, heartbreak and fear still surround parents, pupils and education stakeholders following the cancellation of Standard Seven examination results in different schools by the National Examination Council of Tanzania (Necta).

Reports reaching The Citizen yesterday from different regions where results were cancelled said some of the teachers and school managers were detained by police, pending thorough investigations on the matter.

In Dar es Salaam, the management of some primary schools whose results were cancelled confirmed yesterday that some of their teachers had been arrested.

One of the managers, who preferred anonymity, said their three employees were until yesterday in police custody.

"We are surprised that since Monday three of our teachers, including the school head, are in custody. We aren't sure this was also done to public schools involved in the matter," he said.

However, Dar es Salaam Special Zone Police commander Lazaro Mambosasa said he was not aware of any teachers being detained.

"I am not aware of some teachers being in custody. What I know is that investigations on the matter are underway," he said.

Necta cancelled primary school examination results in all primary schools within Chemba District (Dodoma), three schools in Mwanza, one in Kondoa and four others in Dar es Salaam.

Parents of some of the affected schools in Dar es Salaam expressed their disappointment on the short time set for pupils to repeat the exams, saying that Necta was not fair to affected pupils.

"We accept the examination council's orders, but it could be fair if they gave at least one month for the pupils to get prepared both physically and psychologically," said one teacher who was on duty at one of the schools.

Reports from Dodoma Region said Chemba District commissioner Simon Odunga had already announced the sacking of ward education coordinators and ten head teachers. The district education officer in Chemba and Kondoa have been sacked in connection with examination cheating, he announced. He said a search conducted on some of the sacked officials and teachers found that some of their mobile phones had short text messages where examination answers were provided.

In Mwanza, parents said they were becoming more anxious and worried over their children's fate, following a similar situation last year.

Mr Juma Mwisawa, a parent whose son's results were cancelled said teachers should know what could have been the reason behind the scandal.

Another parent Ms Maimuna Thomas, whose child is in standard five, said her confidences on Alliance school, which results were cancelled, has fallen as this was the second time the school is facing similar accusation.

"The school committee has to seat down and by identifying the cause of the problem. It was such shame for a big school like this to have its results cancelled due to cheating," she said.

However, the Alliance schools managing director, Mr James Bwire who is also the Mwanza city Mayor, told this paper in an interview that he was not at the position of talking about the controversial cheating claims.

"Despite that I am the managing director; the schools are run by other directors and I can say, as an individual, I have no power to either comment nor discuss anything for now," said Bwire.

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