Recently the A’Level results also came out. Due to the state of the economy, it is not surprising that there are many students who still owe their respective schools. With results coming out there is always that headache of having to come face to face with academic institutions. Parents, guardians and students get caught up in this tough position of wanting to access results yet knowing questions on their arrears get thrown into their faces afresh. Due to the option of viewing results online, most had found an easier way of skirting the school authorities. However, school authorities have found a way to bar them.

Schools Barring Owing Students From The Online Results Platform

School authorities have hatched up ways in which they can bar such students from accessing their results. Here is the thing; these school authorities have system administrative control that allows them to deactivate user accounts. They can also reset passwords. Alternatively, they can create a student’s account beforehand so that when the student in question does so they cannot (because the account will already be in existence). All these are some of the ways in which school authorities are barring students in arrears from accessing their results. It is apparent that they are going to these extremes to ensure that students pay up. The rationale is simple – once a student who owes accesses their final exams results it is quite possible the arrears will never ever get paid.

Some Public Reactions To This Development

The responses coming from the public indicate an array of various opinions. Some feel that there must be a clear boundary between ZIMSEC and the schools. This stems from the fact that the online results portal is the prerogative of ZIMSEC. Evidently, the schools are exercising some unhealthy control on a system ZIMSEC must control. So some are of the opinion that results should at least be viewable online but the physical ones should not be accessible without clearing arrears. Oh well, it might not be surprising to find out that ZIMSEC and the schools are in collusion in all this. Interestingly, it is emerging that the online portal can be easily hacked – actually, some people with the skillset are helping out students to access their results if they have been barred.

Are Schools Justified Or Not In Doing This?

This is a major bone of contention here but a lot is involved in approaching this question. Like they say, “desperate times call for desperate measures” – this sums up what is happening here. It is a given that the economy is in total disarray. It is a given that most people are struggling financially. It is also a given that students must go to school – they have an inalienable right to access education after all. However, we must appreciate that running schools entails material and financial resources. It would not make sense for people to approach a supermarket and collect goods without paying on the pretext that the economy is ailing.

It is a basic business principle – I provide a service and you must pay in full or according to agreed terms. It reminds me of someone who usually says, ‘facts have no feelings’. If schools are to run on a pro bono basis they might fall to their knees altogether. So this is a dynamic that people must appreciate, hard as it is and despite the fact that the economy is really tough. All in all, schools are in a fix like I said – they simply and desperately want to recover the monies they are owed, no matter what it takes.

Often times, when the economy is in a free-fall like it, is now, it is an easy temptation to redirect your frustration to the wrong things or people. This has been rampant all throughout the business sector where if, for example, transport fares are hiked people vent their frustrations at the transport operators who will be jostling to stay afloat. “No hard feelings, it is just business” – some would say.

The question of whether or not schools are justified to withhold results is a contentious one obviously. Despite the toughness of the economy, I believe parents and guardians must commit to clear arrears by all means necessary. As for the schools, it is a sticky situation for them but they have no option but to withhold results in the hopes of recovering the money they are owed.