Girls outshine  boys in Grade 7 results

Remember Deketeke Herald Reporter

Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) Grade Seven results released yesterday have a 45,5 pass rate, significantly up from 40,7 last year, with girls on average doing better than boys with a 49,56 percent pass rate compared to 41,21.

Zimsec attributed the increased pass rate to the resumption of normal classes learning after the Covid-19 era, along with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education’s continuing improvements, ensuring more pupils received better teaching.

The Grade 7 online results were expected to be open on the Zimsec portal as of yesterday, starting at 3pm with heads of schools able to collect the printed results from their Zimsec regional offices on Monday.

Announcing the results and the 5,48 percent improvement in the pass rate, Zimsec board chairperson Professor Eddie Mwenje said: “The increase in pass rate could be attributed to the return to the normal school calendar after the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and also the interventions by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education in terms of teaching and learning,” he said.

Girls not only on average did better than boys, but more of them sat the examination to start with. Prof Mwenje said of the 372 603 candidates who sat for the 2023 Grade 7 examination, 193 520 were girls while 179 083 were boys.

A total of 357 special needs candidates sat for five or six subjects. “Of these 194 wrote six subjects and 113 with hard of hearing sat for five subjects yielding an overall average pass rate of 42,99 percent for all learners with special needs compared to 29,8 percent in 2022,” he said, a huge jump in teaching quality for these children with special needs whose pass rates are now exceptional close to those of the overall average.

Primary and Secondary Education Permanent Secretary Mr Moses Mhike who was present during the announcement of the results thanked district inspectors, teachers and parents for a pivotal role they played in improving this year’s pass rate.

Mr Mhike took the opportunity to stress that the Grade seven results were the only tests for high school entrance and private tests were illegal. “The correct position for the entrance test is that they are not legal, they are actually illegal,” he said. The ministry would also review next year’s fees proposals by schools in relation to affordability of parents.

“Every increase of fees must be approved by the ministry; the approving committee goes through every request put by all schools. We look at affordability from parents mainly focusing on civil servants pay checks and we act without compromising the education system in terms of its quality,” he said.

The online platform e-map, said Mr Mhike, is now fully functional with the grade seven results on e-map from Monday so secondary heads could start doing their selection of candidates.

He also said there was much work to be done in order to increase the pass rate in future.

“As ministry, we have a lot of work in terms of our infrastructural development, although other stakeholders like UNICEF are helping,” he said.

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