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Bulawayo's worst secondary school named

by Staff reporter
14 Apr 2023 at 07:46hrs | Views
FROM the name, one might think that this school literally brings good news in terms of examination passes that will uphold the reputation or prestige of the school, but no. Its pass rate is nowhere close to perfect.

Bulawayo City Council (BCC)-run Sizalendaba Secondary School in Khami District holds the spot for the city's worst performing secondary school.

Sizalendaba literally means we bring news, usually good news of great joy.

It, however, emerged that Sizalendaba Secondary School failed to live true to that when 12 learners from the 36 that sat for last year's Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) Ordinary Level examinations failed to pass any subject at all.

According to the latest council minutes Sizalendaba Secondary School in the Mazwi Village of Hyde Park Estate which was built by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) before they donated it to the local authority has become the worst performer in the city in terms examination passes.

The results posted by the school indicate that from the 36 learners that sat for five or more subjects one learner got three subjects at Grade C or better while 13 passed two subjects and 10 passed one subject.

"The Director of Housing and Community Services reported (9th March, 2023) that in the 2022 national examinations, Sizalendaba produced yet again unsatisfactory results. The results posted by the school indicate that from the thirty six (36) learners that sat for five (5) or more subjects; one (1) learner (2,7 percent) got three (3) subjects at Grade C or better. Thirteen (13) learners (36,11 percent) passed two (2) subjects, 10 learners (27,77 percent) passed one subject. There were twelve (12) learners (33,33 percent) that failed to pass any subject at all.

"Ndebele and Physical Education were the subjects that got a good number of passes with 44,1 percent and 65,7 percent pass rates respectively.

There was only one learner who passed English, while there were no passes for Maths and Science," read the report.

The local authority said urgent solutions to the perennial challenges were needed so that the school could deliver credible and acceptable results for the learners and the community at large.

"There was a lot of work needed to bring the school to the level where it could effectively deliver and compare with other schools. The major issue affecting the school was that of staffing with the school currently having only four teachers.

"There were no teachers for Maths and Science. The department had been working with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to get adequate teachers for the school for all learning areas.

"It was hoped that once the construction of teachers' cottages which has commenced is completed, the school will be able to attract and retain teachers.

"It was also hoped that student teachers could be requested to beef up the staff complement from Hillside Teachers' College. Currently the challenges of accommodation have been hampering this strategy," reads the minutes.

According to the report in terms of teaching and learning materials, the school was better off as Plan International had been supporting the school as well as the School Improvement Grant (SIG) funds the school received from the parent ministry.

"Parents would be engaged to support the school and learners so that they can do better. The learners will also be encouraged to retake their examinations to ensure that they improve their livelihood," further read the report.

Turning to Aisleby Primary School, which is about 7km from Trenance suburb and had also over the years been posting bad results to the detriment of the learners at the farm and surrounding communities, Director of Housing and Community Services said it was the local authority's duty to provide quality inclusive 21st century education for all the residents of the city.

The report indicated that one of the reasons why the school was posting unimpressive results was due to high staff turnover.

"Teachers walk more than five kilometres from the drop-off point to the school and when they get there, they would already be tired. It was difficult to deliver quality service in such an environment. Some teachers board lifts twice to and from school daily and this was expensive hence they did not stay at the school for long," reads the minutes.

In a bid to motivate the teachers by creating conducive working conditions the department plans to avail accommodation to the staff at the farm compound.

"The department understood that a few teachers currently staying at the farm compound houses were paying $20 per head. The living conditions were deplorable, and the houses left a lot to be desired.

"The department had requested that eight houses were ceded to the school by the City of Kings Business Unit which would be rehabilitated by our workshop and the teachers would not pay rent. City of Kings has been notified and it was hoped they would respond positively to the request made".

The local authority had also requisitioned textbooks for the Competency Based Curriculum for Grades 6-7 and other selected areas.

"The recent visit by officials indicated that there was a great need for teaching materials at the school. If these were delivered, they would help bridge the gap with other schools that were able to procure their own materials through the sports and textbook levies remitted to schools every term.

"Further the department had facilitated the allocation of a laptop to the school to enable registration for Zimsec exams as the school lacks IT equipment. Aisleby, St Peters and Sizalendaba receive very little if anything at all as their payments were very poor given that these are disadvantaged communities. It was hoped that these strategies would yield positive results for the school."

It was recommended that eight housing units at Aisleby farm compound be ceded to the school to accommodate teachers as tied accommodation and the units be renovated by the local authority to habitable conditions.

Source - B-Metro