By Thandeka Moyo
More than 2 700 pupils, about 30 percent of those who sat for public examinations at Ordinary Level in Bulawayo last year did not pass any subject, a development which is giving education officials headaches.
The province was placed sixth and eighth in terms of performance at Ordinary Level and Advanced Level respectively out of the country’s 10 provinces.
Speaking at the Bulawayo Metropolitan Better Schools Awards yesterday, the acting provincial education director Mrs Olicah Kaira said the low O- Level pass rate remains a cause for concern.
“The low pass rate at O-Level remains a cause for concern because out of 9 194 candidates who sat for examinations last year, 2 774 did not pass any subject,” she said.
Mrs Kaira said the province recorded a 32,1 percent pass rate at O-Level, putting it at position six nationally.
Even though education officials were worried about the situation, the percentage was an improvement from 2015 when 29,01 pass rate was recorded.
She said Grade Seven results had remained stable beyond 70 percent with the number of candidates getting four units increasing yearly.
“Worth noting is the fact that Bulawayo Metropolitan has maintained its first position on national ranking in the Grade Seven results quantitatively. For 2016 the province recorded a 1,13 percent increase from 87,67 to 88,8 percent based on units at Grade Seven,” she said.
Mrs Kaira said Bulawayo’s Advanced Level performance was pleasing in almost all the high schools.
“A 2,8 percent increase in A-Level pass rate from 85, 58 percent in 2015 to 88,38 percent in 2016 based on subjects has been achieved. At this level we are ranked number eight in comparison with sister provinces,” she said.
Mrs Kaira said 39 A-Level candidates recorded 15 points and above while 95 did not register any score in 2016.
“The provincial enrolment has steadily increased by 3,76 percent from 173 912 in 2016 to 180 443 in June 2017. Primary learners are at 124 634, secondary learners 52 559 while special class learners are at 1 498,” said Mrs Kaira.
The guest of honour, Zimbabwe School of Mines chief executive officer, Mr Dzingai Tusai, bemoaned the low numbers of students from Bulawayo who enrol at science institutions.
“The Zimbabwe School of Mines is here with you, your institution which is the pride of Bulawayo. It is training people and has trained foreigners from as far as Uganda.
“I am so unhappy that the number of people coming in from around Bulawayo is very small. I once questioned Killarney residents why out of all the students only one was from there,” said Mr Tusai. The Chronicle