By Gift Munyanya
THE Deputy Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, Anna Nghipondoka has said that no block time is allowed for learners in Grade 10 during the end of term, therefore learners sitting for the JSC examinations will attend classes until the last day before the exams.
“No block time is allowed for learners in Grade 10 during the end of term tests, internal examinations and end of year examination and therefore learners sitting for the JSC examination will attend classes until the last day before the commencement of the end of year JSC examination,” she said.
Responding to questions from DTA parliamentarian Jennifer van Der Heveer in the National Assembly last week, Nghipondoka said block time is not used for its intended purpose and it has become harmful to the learners’ examination preparation.
Block time is an expression used for the release of learners from attending school for a period prior to the commencement of major examinations.
Nghipondoka said that the ministry has over the years observed that block time has somewhat become detrimental rather than beneficial to learners’ examination preparation. “It is not always used optimally for its intended purpose. It was for this reason that the Ministry has to date made several amendments to the current circular.
“The aim of this circular is to implement a uniform system to address all aspects and issues related to the internal end-of-term tests and end of year examinations in our schools and secondly it aims to encourage teachers and learners to optimally utilise time on teaching and learning at school,” stressed Nghipondoka.
She further stated that the new circular will be implemented by all Government schools, and serves to provide guidance on planning and management of the internal end-of term tests and end of year examinations.
Notably the circular is aligned to the revised curriculum implementation schedule.
Nghipondoka emphasised that, “It is important to point out that on any day during examinations that the candidates are not writing, the amended circular has made it explicitly clear that candidates are to study under adequate supervision from their teachers.”
She also said that grade 10 hostel boarders are encouraged to stay in their hostels for the duration of the JSC examination and must study under supervision.
“School principals are urged to provide necessary facilities available at schools to enable day-learners to study for their examinations in a conducive environment. With regard to grade 12 learners,there is no block time allowed
during internal mock examinations.Block time for Grade 12 learners is only allowed during the final external examination as indicated in the circular. “NSSC Higher and Ordinary Level candidates are only released from attending school for a period of three days before commencement of the external examinations.“This in a nutshell means Grade 12 candidates should attend school until three days before the external NSSC examination
starts, either at home in which case it becomes the responsibility of the parents to supervise them or at the hostel which subsequently becomes the responsibility of the principal and the hostel superintendent.”
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