Electronic marking for Zimbabwe exams
- Published on 16 July 2012
Zimbabwean secondary school examinations for the first time ever are to be assessed using electronic marking technology.
The Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) has decided to embrace e-marking in the country.
The organisation further plans to adopt e-registration for examinations next year as well.
This is in line with Zimbabwe’s bid to completely computerise its education system.
Esau Nhandara, the acting director at Zimsec, said the new e-marking system is planned to primarily cover two subjects – 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,” explained Nhandara.
He added that the new electronic system was given the thumbs-up by officials in the country, following a pilot test conducted with the assistance of British based Data Research Services (DRS).
“On the same screen, side by side, is displayed the expected answer (the mark 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,” said Mr Nhandara.
Zimsec, said officials, will use the new e-registration system for next year’s June examinations.
“The information gathered is submitted on a CD to the Zimsec regional offices where accuracy of the details will be checked before these are forwarded to head office.
Zimsec project manager, John Maramba further explained that the e-marking programme will automatically bar erring markers from progressing further. He said in the event that an examiner awards marks that vary beyond the acceptable deviation, the programme stops the marker from proceeding.
“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.
“Should the marker continue to err, s/he is dropped from the marking team. This ensures accurate marking, thus enhancing the quality of the results produced,” added Maramba.