By Nqobile Tshili
Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has named its best and worst performing primary schools in last year’s Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) Grade Seven examinations.
Mahatshula Primary School came top among the 29 primary schools with a pass rate of 84,80 percent, followed by J.W Mthimkhulu which is located in Magwegwe West suburb at 84 percent.
Aisleby which is located at Aisleby farm and St. Peter’s located at St Peter’s village on the outskirts of Bulawayo were the worst performing schools recording 40 and 44 percent pass rate respectively.
The performance of the council primary schools was revealed in the latest council minutes.
BCC said there was an improvement in the English and Ndebele pass rates, but there was a drop in the pass rates for Mathematics and General Paper subjects.
“The City of Bulawayo top school in the 2016 results is Mahatshula with a pass rate of 84,80 percent (85.19% in 2015). Mahatshula has dominated in performance throughout the years. In second position and for the first time is J.W. Mthimkhulu with 84 percent pass rate (80.54 last year). It is worth to mention that the pass rate between Mahatshula and J.W. Mthimkhulu is very minimal. Hats off to J.W. Mthimkhulu as the school had clinched fourth position in the 2015 results. The school is working its way up the ladder,” reads the minutes.
Ntshamathe Primary School in Old Magwegwe suburb came third with an 81 percent pass rate.
Mganwini and Nketa which were second and third in the previous year plunged to position 12 and seven respectively.
“All schools always strive for better performance and there seems to be a competition for the top positions each year although Mahatshula generally seems to attain the first position yearly. Schools that had a drop in performance (Mganwini and Nketa) both report that one of their Grade 7 classes was lagging behind in academic performance and hence the classes’ performance affected the results of the schools. At Mganwini, the class lagged behind as from Grade 5 and it was difficult for the class to attain a high academic performance at Grade 7,” read the minutes.
The council said the performance of Aisleby and St. Peter’s Primary schools which were at the tail end must be seen in relation to their contextual environment.
“These schools are situated in the peri-urban districts of Bulawayo and travelling to the schools is a bit problematic as teachers cover long distances. At St. Peter’s, the two houses that were built are not adequate for all the staff. At Aisleby, Ingwebu let out three houses to accommodate the staff. It is hoped that by and large results in these schools will improve,” read the minutes.
Council said Ntshamathe had the highest number of pupils with four units at 13.
Twelve pupils at Mganwini posted four units.
BCC said although schools showed commitment to improving quality education, there is also a need to improve in Mathematics and General Paper pass rates.
“Heads have to put more emphasis in the teaching of Mathematics and General Paper subjects so that high quality marks are obtained overall,” read the minutes.
“The results presented show a lot of determination by council schools through the leadership of the respective heads. Schools are applauded for the positive results produced and the bottom schools are implored to keep on finding better solutions to improve their academic standards and therefore performance in examinations. The Chronicle