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Fears over 2020 Exams

by Staff reporter
24 Nov 2020 at 21:39hrs | Views
EDUCATION stakeholders have expressed fears that the teachers' strike could compromise this year's Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (Zimsec) results for Ordinary and Advanced level candidates.

This comes as the country recorded a drop in the overall June examinations national pass rate, with Ordinary Level candidates recording 17,91 percent, representing an 82 percent failure rate, while the percentage pass rate for Advanced Level candidates was 67,06 percent.

In comparison to the June 2019 session, about 3 218 Ordinary Level candidates wrote five or more subjects and 742 of these passed five or more subjects with grade C or better, resulting in a national percentage pass rate of 23,06 percent.

On the other hand, 2 638 candidates wrote two or more Advanced Level subjects and 1 769 obtained Grade E or better in two or more subjects, translating to a 67,06 percent pass rate compared to 68,6 percent in 2019.

Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz) president Obert Masaraure told the Daily News yesterday that as stakeholders they were worried about the reputation of the county's education system if the November examinations were allowed to go ahead.

"We are not only preoccupied with results, which are usually doctored to conform to a desired normal distribution curve. We are more concerned with the exit profile of the learner and the overall quality of our education system," Masaraure said.

"Imposing examinations on these unprepared learners compromises our education and the exit profile of learners. Our learners are transiting to next learning levels without acquiring critical mandatory knowledge."

Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) secretary general Raymond Majongwe weighed in, saying it would be foolhardy to read much into the results of the June examination as the majority of the candidates were those retaking them after initially failing.

"Those results do not even reflect the extent to which knowledge was acquired. Those low pass rates, I can assure you, were tampered with by the authorities who wanted to project a picture of normalcy, that nothing has really changed compared to last year.

"The truth of the matter is that those sitting for the November examination were last taught in March and to think that they will sit an examination and come out with a credible result is the height of tomfoolery.

The authorities must sober up and ask themselves where they intend to take this country's education. They are killing our children. There is no examination to talk about. It's all unreasonable," Majongwe said.

The total number of Advanced Level candidates who sat for the June 2020 examination was 5 058 compared to 5 923 in 2019, a decrease of 865, which is 14,6 percent.

This comes as the government is insisting on going ahead with this year's November public examinations notwithstanding the fact that teachers have been on strike since schools reopened in September after they closed in March as part of the government's attempt to combat the spread of the deadly Covid-19.

The teachers are now divided over the recent 41 percent pay increase that the government offered them, with some accepting the offer while some insist on being paid US$520 or the equivalent.

This year's candidate entry for both Ordinary and Advanced Levels were low compared to 2019.

Source - dailynews

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