Necta executive secretary Joyce Ndalichako

A group of Zanzibaris are planning to go to court to challenge  nullification of last year’s national examinations results for 3,303 students in the Isles, saying it is unconstitutional and are now demanding that Zanzibar should have its own eaxmination body.

Some Zanzibaris are also angry with the Zanzibar Ministry of Education and Vocational Training for remaining silent on the matter. “Collective punishment is against the constitution. We want Dr Joyce Ndalichako and her board to step down for failing to prevent examination leakage, her office should be held responsible instead of punishing more than 3,000 students, mostly from Zanzibar,” said Ameir Hassan.

Debating at a forum on ’2011 results nullification’, organised by Association for Zanzibar Reporters covering development issues (WAHAMAZA), most speakers angrily asked Zanzibar government to establish its own examination council.  “We are tired of NECTA’s repeated mess affecting our students almost every year.

“We should have our own National Examination Council of Zanzibar (NECZA) since education is not a Union matter and we have competent people to manage the council,” said Ms Faiza Mohamed,  a teacher. Mr Ali Hassan, former District Commissioner (DC) in Zanzibar, argued that Dr Ndalichako has so failed to convince Zanzibaris how 3,303 students deserve the three-year ban.

“This is an unacceptable penalty, at least they should be allowed to re-sit the exams this year.” The visibly furious participants in the forum held at Beit-el-yamin hall in Zanzibar expressed concern over the formation of NECTA board members saying only four out of 14 members are Zanzibaris.

The on-going debate in Zanzibar about the fate of the students who have been punished for cheating has sparked more criticism about the union, claiming it undermines Zanzibaris’ development. Last Wednesday Dr Ndalichako emphasized in Zanzibar that students who cheated in the exams deserve the punishment of being banned from doing examinations organised by the council for three years.

“Cheating in examination is a serious offence, we have to fight it. Therefore, all the students whose results were invalidated will not be allowed to re-sit exams for three years as par section 6 (2) (b) of the examinations regulations,” Ms Ndalichako told a gathering at Bwawani Hotel.

By ISSA YUSSUF, Tanzania Daily News

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