THE Ministry of General Education has revised the 2020 school examinations calendar for all grades due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a circular to all education authorities across the country by ministry permanent secretary Jobbicks Kalumba, internal examinations for grades 7, 9 and 12 would be conducted in December while external and GCE examinations would take place during the two-weeks break in September.
Schools were prematurely closed on March 20 due to the COVID-19 pandemic after the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared it an international public health emergency on March 11.
Dr Kalumba in the circular explains that the closure has resulted into a loss of 14 working days in term one while term two would have lost five teaching and learning days.
He announced that schools would open on June 1 and close on August 28 for term two, giving learners and teachers 62 days of activity.
Term three will open on September 14 and close on December 4, resulting into 59 learning days.
Grade nine external and GCE examinations would therefore be conducted during the two weeks holiday for term two while grades 7, 9, and grade 12 internal examinations would be conducted in December 2020.
“This gives teachers an opportunity to concentrate on teaching and catch up on the lost time by not being engaged in the examination activities during the term but only after schools close. Examinations Council of Zambia will provide detailed examination time-tables,” he stated.
Dr Kalumba reminded school authorities about the need for strict adherence to COVID-19 regulations and guide accordingly.
“Teachers must commence their teaching from where they had left off last term when school had to close prematurely. Enhanced remedial work, as well as other catch-up strategies should characterise all aspects of teaching and learning. Internal monitoring of teaching and teacher preparedness for teaching should be intensified and teachers should be held accountable to their responsibilities. Counselling and guidance services should be conducted for both teachers and learners at the beginning of term owing to psycho-social effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure strict adherence to the stipulated COVID-19 preventive measures to ensure safe school environment,” he stated.
The permanent secretary further pledged that detailed COVID-19 preventive measures and prescribed adjustments would be communicated soon.