Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Grade 9s forced to write ICT exams past midnight


Some of the computers handed over to Namuseba Primary School in Monze District today by Zambia National Building Society (ZNBS) in a bid to complement government’s efforts to spearhead Information, communication and Technology (ICTs) learning in schools.
Thousands of children sitting for their Grade 9 ICT practical exams were forced to sit for their papers past midnight on Monday due to shortages of computers.

The situation was further compounded by ZESCO load shedding as some schools did not have power from as early as 12 Hours and power was only around 22:30 Hours.

This forced the school authorities to detain the pupils in the school grounds waiting for power to be restored after which pupils took turns in sharing the fewer available computers.

A check at most schools in Lusaka around 23 Hours found concerned parents and guardians taking blankets and food to their children.

Some schools such as Libala Basic School had asked parents and guardians to donate laptops or money to enable the school hire computers for the practical exams.

The few hired computers were still not enough and the situation was worsened after ZESCO cut off power supply to most schools forcing the school authorities to delay the exams until power was restored.

As late as 02 Hours, Tuesday morning, some children were still waiting for their turn to write their exams.

Some children who had finished their papers were forced to walk back to their respective homes in the thick of the night as school authorities refused to allow them in the school grounds fearing they would leak the exams questions to their colleagues who were waiting for their turn to enter the exam room.

This is the first time the Ministry of Education is administering the ICT exams after launching a new curriculum last year.

And UPND Vice President Dr Canisius Banda revealed that some schools had a ratio of 9 computers for every 600 pupils.

Dr Banda condemned the situation described it as a new low in examination management in Zambia.

‘What governance experiment are we running here? Who or what is the government going to blame this time? Bill Gates? Or are we also going to say that this is a global problem so no Zambia should fret? Dr Banda queried.

‘In addition to loadshedding, the cause as it is being said this time is a severe shortage of computers, remember the USD 300000 we recently spent on an aeroplane we hired? Just how many computers would that have bought us?’

He said, ‘Barring this, this shameful nonsense of going round and round in circles of leadership and governance failure will continue. Norway, a country smaller and much ‘less endowed’ naturally than Zambia is number one on the HDI (Human Development Index) in the world.’

He said Zambia, one of the top 5 producers of copper in the world, has nothing to show for this status.


  1. Policy makers vomit a lot of theories at the expense of proper planning. This is our wrong culture as proud for nothing Zambians. If what we talk about can be put into practice through eradication of corruption and embrace/cultivate the spirit of self sacrifice and hard work, Zambia can be a real paradise for us all.

    • When a govt in the failure mode, here is what happens;
      1. Education standards become pathetic to say the least. Look at the minister of education pronouncements on the floor of the house (parliament). He is suggesting the fees for high education should be increased so that less people can access higher education. Now we have our children writing exams pass midnight and only to come back for more exams in a few hours time.
      2. Agriculture productivity is negatively affected, hence cost of living becomes a nightmare for many
      3. The health sector becomes an image of its former self. So is the case now in Zed
      4. Naturally, inflation hits the double digits, and the buying power of the currency is nicely eroded.
      The ruling class to sum it up all, they look for ways to divert the people’s…

  2. The drunk, instead of taking control of this dire situation , is busy blaming everyone (teachers, unions, millers, miles sampa) for wanting to kick him out of state house.

  3. Mwandini, Edgar Lungu has really failed us. As PF Youths, we are planning to launch a massive campaign of replacing Edgar Lungu with either Miles Sampa., Given Lubinda or Dr. Christine Kaseba Sata. These can perform better than Edgar Lungu the Sick Drunkard.

  4. One more half baked plan by PF – making policy before they think… or LISTEN. How many teachers could have told them the obvious this would never work and be a practical nightmare?

    Shame on this government for making Grade 9 children take their exams in the middle of the night and walk home in the dark. They better “pray” none of them were harmed on the way. Shame, shame, shame!

  5. In this day and age, we can’t plan! If the schools in the capital city had these challenges I can’t imagine the nonsense in country side.
    I feel for the kids who were finishing at 2am only to have to sit for another paper at 8am.

  6. This is a new low indeed. How can this be allowed to happen? Where are the people who should have planned for it? They should be fired. And in the mean time ECL is busy playing and campaigning on the Copperbelt when the country is in this mess. Lets talk in 2016

  7. i have been observing that most people who comment on zambias status are not living within zambia,how do you judge from afar?

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