Exams in Zimbabwe to be marked electronically for first time ever

Computing

Exams in Zimbabwe to be marked electronically for first time ever
Zimbabwe’s secondary school examinations will be evaluated using the electronic marking technology for the first time ever, even as the country takes strides to completely computerize its education system.

According to Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec), it plans to adopt e-registration for the examinations come next year. Explaining the new system, the acting director at Zimsec, Esau Nhandara said it will cover two subjects namely Mathematics Paper 1 and Integrated Science Paper 3.

“The candidate’s responses to the examination are scanned and displayed on the computer screen. Each marker is allocated a question or part of a question to mark. On the same screen, side by side, is displayed the expected answer (marking scheme) showing where the marks should be allocated.

“The marker’s task is simply to compare the candidate’s response to the mark scheme and award marks accordingly,”Nhandara explained.

Zimsec project manager, John Maramba added that the e-marking programme is designed in such a way that markers who will err during the process will be automatically barred from progressing any further in the process, until a supervisor authorizes them back into the system.

“Their supervisors are the only ones who can authorise the marker after satisfying themselves that the marker has mastered the contentious sections of the mark scheme,” he said.

The information gathered on the system is afterwards submitted on a CD to the Zimsec regional offices where accuracy of the details will be checked -- before forwarding to head office.

According to Nhandara, the new electronic system has already received a go-ahead from officials in the country, following a pilot test conducted with the assistance of British based Data Research Services (DRS).