An exam period in Zimbabwe rarely goes by without news of exam paper leakages obtaining at some school somewhere.
Realising the alarming exam leakages, Microbots founder Tinashe Jambo developed and built an exam security solution meant to cushion the local examinations board, the Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council from future leakages.
By TechnoMag Reporter
“We have come up with a technology solution to curb examination Leakage and Manipulation of Answer scripts after exams ensuring total integrity in the Examination Process,” he says.
The Microbots boss said the confidence in our local exam board needs to be restored.
“Compromises in the examination administration system are not news in our Country. Exams leak, Answer scripts get stolen or lost. There is always a very high risk of such occurrences because the system is exposed to human error.
“These things have very serious implications. It compromises on the Credibility of our examination board, the public loses confidence in our examination board. There are cost implications in reprinting of examination papers we are talking of millions of dollars if you have to re-do say 1 exam.
“Imagine 2,3,4 exams leak. Let’s talk about the emotional drain of already stressed candidates. This is happening in your country then you look outside and you see the exact same problem all around you almost every African country has this problem,” said Jambo.
“Our total solution comprises of a tamper-proof Exam Box where examination papers are packaged, a compact sensor enabled GPS tracker, which is placed in the box, an electronic seal, which locks the box, and a smart key, which is used to lock and unlock the electronic seal.
“The smart key downloads preset permissions once it connects to the central management system. Once downloaded, the smart key can be used to interact with the multiple electronic seals even in areas where there is no network coverage.
“The electronic seal can only be unlocked at the correct geographical position and within the correct window. The student examination answer scripts will be required to be secured within a given window after the examination. Any attempts to access examination papers or failure to secure answer scripts within the allocated times will trigger an alert at the live monitoring control center,” he said.
He continued, “We believe this technology is a good starting point and will result in restoration of confidence to our local examination boards and integrity to the examination administration system. We are looking to engage schools, Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (ZIMSEC), Higher Education Examination Council (HEXCO) , NCZ (Nurses Council of Zimbabwe) and schools which administer exams at a large scale to consider piloting implementation of the technology.”
“I enjoy solving Big problems, we have so many big problems in Africa. Particularly the ones where technology plays a role. It’s a good thing we are having this conversation now there is so much energy around innovation and entrepreneurship in the country.
“The Minister of ICT, Honorable Super Mandiwanzira, has come up with a great initiative, the ICT innovation fund. These are things that if you hear and you are currently working on a prototype you put your all, you are energized.
“It’s our hope that we can have an opportunity through the ICT innovation fund to prepare for a great future ahead. The ICT innovation fund needs to be supported, startups need tax incentives ZIMRA needs to come in there.
“You cannot tax a startup the same as an established company. That’s like expecting your new born baby to do chores your 15-year-old does. A place needs to be created where entrepreneurs can live play and work, the Mayor of Harare His worship Mr Manyenyeni and Minister of Local government. Honorable Saviour Kasukuwere need to come in.
“We need to create that community beyond funding innovators to create their ideas. This is very important,” he said.