‘‘WE will determine whether each of the aspiring candidates for the 2016 general elections has obtained as a minimum qualification, a Grade 12 certificate or its equivalent, through a verification process,’’ the Examinations Council of Zambia (ECZ) announced yesterday.
And the ECZ has dismissed allegations that it had rescheduled the General Certificate of Education (GCE) exams in order to allow political party candidates who did not have the Grade 12 certificate sit for exams in order for them to qualify for nominations, saying no change had been done to the timetable.
Speaking during a press briefing yesterday, ECZ chairperson Samuel Banda said the council had set March 13 to May 14 as the period for the verification of all candidates vying to contest in this year’s election.
In a speech read on his behalf by ECZ director Michael Chilala, Prof. Banda clarified that once the verification process for each candidate was concluded; the council will then issue a letter confirming that the aspiring candidate met the requirements for nomination.
He said any candidate who will be vying for nomination under the Grade 12 or its equivalent clause will be required to have either obtained a pass in at least six subjects including the English language, one of which should be a credit or better, or one who has obtained a pass in at least five subjects including English language, two of which should be a credit or better.
He explained that those who sat for exams when the education system followed Forms 1 to 5 under the Cambridge School Certificate, qualified to be nominated as candidates as long as they sat for exams in Form 5 and obtained divisions one to three.
“ECZ will therefore determine whether each of the aspiring candidates during the 2016 elections has obtained, as a minimum academic qualification, a Grade 12 certificate or its equivalent through the verification process. A letter of confirming possession of a Grade 12 certificate or its equivalent shall be issues by the ECZ to aspiring candidates.
“The equivalencies of foreign Ordinary levels qualifications will be determined using standards and requirements for the award of a Grade 12 certificate within the mandate of the council, as guided by the international platforms agreed on between the ECZ and examining boards of other countries,” Prof. Banda said.
According to the amended Constitution of Zambia, Articles 100 part 1 (e); 70 part (d) and 153 part 4(c), one may be elected as republican President, Member of Parliament or councillor if one has obtained, as a minimum academic qualification, a Grade 12 certificate or its equivalent.