Low maths, science pass rates worry education officials

BULAWAYO - Matabeleland South Province has maintained almost the same low pass rate of Ordinary Level examinations with 17.3 percent in 2009.

This was slightly higher than the 2008s 17 percent. Matabeleland South Provincial Education Director, Tumisang Thabela said that slight improvement was encouraging considering the challenges facing the country’s education sector. Mtshabezi was the highest with a 77 percent pass rate, Falcon College 66%, Mzingwane 60%, Thekwane 57% and Solusi 56%,said Thabela. The subjects that were well passed include Ndebele, Accounts and Building.

Zimbabwean schools went almost the whole of last year without teaching as most teachers were on strike or leaving the profession due to low pay. Matabeleland North province however did not witness any changes from 2008 pass rate. The provincial Education Director, Boitathelo Mguni said this was below the marginal standard. We did not record any changes in the pass rate last year however most students failed Mathematics and Integrated Science which is very disturbing, said Mrs Mguni. Mrs Mguni said traditional mission boarding schools had the highest pass rate as was the usual case every year.

Schools like St James, John Tallach and Marist had the highest pass rate as compared to the others, she said. She said most schools in the province were no longer offering technical subjects. There has been a decline in the number of schools that are offering technical subjects making it difficult for students who are interested in such subjects, she said. Mguni said most children did not write their final examinations last year despite the fact that there were loans being offered by Government. This resulted in low registration of examination candidates. Some parents failed to take up loans that were being offered by Government especially those with children who were less intelligent, she said.

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