Grade Seven examination results released by the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) yesterday produced a pass rate of 40,09 percent, marginally below the 41,13 percent of last year, but girls and their 43,66 percent pass rate did a lot better than boys with a 36,22 percent pass rate.
The reasons for the slight overall decline are still to be worked out, but could be partly due to the need for schools and pupils becoming familiar with the new continuous assessment programme. There were also more children writing the examination, about 5,4 percent more, and that could also affect results.
Speaking in Harare yesterday after the announcement of the 2022 Grade Seven public examination results, Zimsec board chair Professor Eddie Mwenje said the slight drop in pass rates was unexpected since there were far fewer disruptions this year, unlike the last two years of disruptions from Covid-19.
But he did not see the tiny fluctuation as significant.
“The reasons are sometimes very difficult to establish until you do a deep analysis of the results which we do normally just to advise the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education on certain aspects. Given that this year students received much more time for learning than in the previous year, they ought to have done better.”
Zimsec director Dr Lazarus Nembaware said continuous assessment learning activity (CALA) could be one of the factors.
“It could be other reasons, which we will look into but as of now, we also think that candidates are still settling in into the CALA component. This is the second year in which CALA has been part and parcel of the examination system so it could be that and we will look into those areas more critically after the release of these results,” he said.
Continuous assessment for part of the results forces pupils to be consistent throughout the year, rather than just swotting at the last moment, and so requires pupils to work steadily throughout the year, rather in surges.
But Zimsec recorded a higher number of candidates writing the exam that did so last year. “A total of 343 169 candidates sat for the 2022 Grade Seven examinations as compared to 325 573 candidates who sat for the same examinations in 2021, showing a 5,4 percent increase in candidature, that is an additional 17 596 candidates,” said Zimsec.
“Out of the 343 169 candidates who sat for the 2022 Grade Seven examinations, 177 466 were female while 165 703 were males. The pass rate for female candidates is 43,66 percent while that of male candidates stands at 36,22 percent. The results show that female candidates out performed their male counterparts.
“A total of 323 candidates with special need sat for a range of subjects from 5 to 6. Of these, 208 wrote 6 subjects while 91 candidates with hard-of-hearing sat for 5 subjects. The pass rate for the special needs candidates in 2022 was 30.43 percent as compared to 54.88 percent recorded in 2021.”
Zimsec advised that the collection of results from regional offices would start today while the online viewing platform was activated yesterday. Heads collect the results for their school from the Zimsec regional offices from today.
The link for online viewing is reached via the Zimsec website, www.zimsec.co.zw. The 2022 examination writing session was restored to the traditional times of October after the lifting of the Covid-19 restrictions which disrupted the school calendar for the past two years, said Zimsec.
Meanwhile, the examinations for the O-Level and A=Level ended this week with Zimsec saying marking was now set to begin.