Community's response to the Grade 7 ZIMSEC Ndebele Paper 2013

To: Esau Shingirai Nhandara (ZIMSEC Director)

This Petition is a direct response from the Ndebele community in regard to the Grade 7 ZIMSEC Ndebele Paper 2013.

We have read your response and it seems as if you, as a Director, do not feel concerned about the use of improper language in the above mentioned paper. We, the Ndebele community believe that the people you termed as "experts" in approving the above mentioned paper, have to be re- assessed in terms of their knowledge in regard to the Ndebele customs. It is not, in any way, culturally accepted to put words such as "umangumba, ikhikhitha, isifebe and ukusuza" in a Grade 7 examination paper. It is not advisable to speak these words with children, what more if they are put as an examination for 12 year olds? We believe that denialism to accept the mistake already done will not help in building future respecting, obedient  and loyal citizens. As a community we feel that we have been degraded in this incident.

Moreover, we believe that the use of slang in the above mentioned paper is not the right way to test Grade 7 pupils' ability to know their mother tongue. As a Ndebele community, we expect ZIMSEC to do more in preserving the Ndebele language which is the main identity of our culture. Colloquial words like "umangumba" are not culturally progressive but are also an insult when put to the above mentioned paper. There are better ways of testing Grade 7 pupils without including these slang words. What happened to olden ways of examining Grade 7 pupils?

Your experts have demonstrated incompetence and negligence. If they deny their wrong doing, we propose a conference with them where there will be a direct dialogue in regard to this matter to highlight their short-comings. We are looking forward to your response to this petition.


Concerned Ndebele Community