Government works to improve pass rates in schools

Taungana Ndoro
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GOVERNMENT will continue allocating more resources to schools to acquire textbooks, teaching materials, latest technology and build science laboratories as part of a raft of measures aimed at improving pass rates in under-performing schools countrywide.

In the 2023 Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (Zimsec) November examinations, only Advanced Level candidates managed a pass rate of over 50 percent, recording 94,60 percent. Grade Seven had a pass rate of 45,57 percent, up from 40,09 the previous year while Ordinary Level candidates recorded a 29,41 percent pass rate, the same as 2023.

In a statement ahead of the joint monitoring exercise meant to examine challenges facing schools and enforcing set protocols and measures as per minimum functionality of the standards set by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, the ministry’s director of communications and advocacy, Mr Taungana Ndoro, said improving pass rates requires a multi-faceted approach that addresses various aspects of the educational system.

He stressed the need to continue investing in teacher training and professional development programmes to enhance the quality of teaching, as well as providing ongoing support for teachers, such as mentoring and coaching to improve their instructional skills and classroom management techniques.

Mr Ndoro said the Government envisages to enhance the curriculum to ensure it is continuously relevant, engaging, and aligned with educational goals.

“This is why we incorporate practical and hands-on learning experiences to make education more interactive and applicable to real-life situations,” he said.

“We also encourage active involvement of parents and the community in the education process as we ride on the established mechanisms for regular communication between schools and parents, and promote parental participation in school activities and decision-making processes.”

Mr Ndoro, said the ministry was implementing interventions to address the individual needs of pupils, such as remedial classes, tutoring programmes, and counselling services, which help to identify struggling students early and provide targeted support to help them catch-up and succeed academically.

The ministry is also enhancing effective systems for monitoring and evaluating pupils’ performance, teacher effectiveness, and school management.

Regular assessment of pupils’ progress and use of data to identify areas of improvement and tailor interventions accordingly are strategies that are underway, added Mr Ndoro.

“This week the ministry is embarking on a joint monitoring exercise with partners throughout the country. We aim to come up with baseline findings that inform programming and policy, as well as decision-makers on the required interventions by the Government and partners to ensure education for sustainable development and to ensure we have no zero-percent pass rates in our schools,” he said. “With the ongoing recruitment of teachers, we are also aiming to reduce class sizes to ensure that teachers can provide individual attention to pupils and lower teacher-pupil ratios to allow for more personalised instruction that will help address the diverse needs of pupils,” said Mr Ndoro.

He said the monitoring exercise will promote strong and effective school leadership by providing training and support to heads of schools and school administrators as effective leadership plays a crucial role in creating a positive school culture, setting high expectations, and fostering a conducive learning environment for increased pass rates.

“The ministry also encourages collaboration among schools, teachers, and educational institutions to facilitate opportunities for sharing best practices, collaboration on projects, and professional development workshops in order to improve or maintain high pass rates,” said Mr Ndoro.

“It’s our clarion call that collaboration between the Government, educators, parents, and communities remains crucial for achieving long-term improvements in the pass rates of under-performing schools.” – Chronicle