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University steps in to solve 0 pass rate in Matabeleland North

by Staff reporter
20 Jun 2024 at 02:23hrs | Views
Lupane State University (LSU) has significantly contributed to reducing the number of primary schools in Matabeleland North province that record zero pass rates in Grade Seven public examinations.

Initially, 18 schools had zero pass rates, but LSU's intervention has reduced this number to six. The university, partnering with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education and other organizations, aims to further decrease this figure to zero by supporting both teachers and students.

The LSU Department of Educational Foundations led research to identify reading difficulties among Grade Seven pupils and implemented remedial strategies over four years. Their findings revealed that 70% of students read below their grade level, significantly impacting their exam success rates.

Since LSU's involvement in 2018, there has been a steady improvement in pass rates. The university has also trained 65 teachers to create contextualized reading materials, promoting a reading culture among students. Pass rates in previously zero-pass-rate schools increased from 10% in 2019 to 20% in 2022.

The program's success is attributed to strong support from parents, school heads, and the National Association of Primary School Heads (Naph). LSU has also contributed to curriculum alignment, resource development, and the establishment of learning centers and after-school programs, providing additional academic support in key subjects like Mathematics and English.

Primary and Secondary Education Director of Advocacy and Communication, Mr. Taungana Ndoro, noted that various interventions by ministry partners, including LSU, have strengthened instructional quality and addressed unique learning needs. The ministry continues to implement strategies to further reduce zero pass rates, such as enhancing early childhood education, expanding remedial programs, and addressing infrastructure and resource challenges in under-performing schools.

Source - The Chronicle