2015 O-Level results out . . . National pass rate up 5 percent

Auxilia Katongomara Chronicle Reporter
THE November 2015 Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) Ordinary Level results are out with the national pass rate improving by five percent on 2014 statistics.

Masvingo had the highest pass rate of 31,9 percent followed by Midlands and Manicaland. Mashonaland East recorded the least percentage pass rate of 22,98 percent.

Candidates did better in Mathematics and Science subjects in 2015 than in the prior year. Boys last year managed to break girls’ dominance over them, the Zimsec analysis on the basis of gender shows.

Grades D and E are now considered as passes. Traditionally pass grades were A, B and C while D, E and U were fails. This year, a candidate who attained grade C is said to have passed with a credit – a mark considered above an ordinary pass.

The results show an increased pass rate from last year’s 22,38 to 27,86 percent with 50,79 percent of the total candidates passing five subjects with grade E or better.

Zimsec director, Esau Nhandara, said in a statement yesterday that the results are ready for collection and have been dispatched to regional offices.

“Examination centre heads have started collecting the results from Zimsec regional offices. We look forward to the usual smooth and expeditious collection of results,” said Nhandara.

“At this level candidates who obtain a grade E in a subject are considered to have passed and are given a certificate grade. Candidates who obtain grade C in a subject are considered to have passed the subject with a credit.”

In the analysis candidates are described in two parts, one being ‘school candidates’, the second being the ‘private candidates’.

Nhandara said there was an increase in the percentage pass rate for school candidates from last year’s 22, 38 to 27, 46 this year.

“The total number of candidates who sat for the November 2015 O-Level examination was 310,917.

“School candidates who wrote five or more subjects were 156, 418 and 43, 581 obtained Grade C or better in 5 or more subjects, yielding a 27,86 percent pass rate,” said Nhandara.

“Of the 176, 657 school candidates, 156, 418 wrote five subjects and above resulting in 79,457 passing five or more subjects with a grade E or better.

This translates to a pass rate of 50, 79 percent. For private candidates, out of the 134, 260 candidates, a total of 9, 055 passed at least five subjects, yielding a pass rate of 38, 97 percent at grade E or better”.

He said there was a total of 23,235 private candidates who wrote five or more subjects and 2,791 obtained Grade C or better in five or more subjects, which also translates into a percentage pass rate of 12, 01.

“The rise in the pass rates for the November 2015 examinations,” said Nhandara, “could be attributed to a number of factors, such as the Education Development Fund (EDF), the then Education Transition Fund (ETF) where in 2011 and 2012 all secondary schools received textbook kits. There was a one to one textbook-pupil ratio and these resources were used from Form 1 up to Form 4. The cohort of learners who used these books from Form 1 to Form 4 were those who wrote examinations in 2015. These learners had all the basic textbooks from Form 1 to Form 4.

“In addition to the EDF programme, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education mounted workshops in provinces, districts and even at cluster level through the Better Schools Programme. All these efforts were meant to improve teaching and learning processes in schools. The issue of having qualified teachers in secondary schools cannot be ignored as a contributing factor to improved learner performance during the November 2015 examinations.”

Explaining why boys performed better than girls, he said this could be because of biological factors to do with maturity.

“Another notable factor is that female learners engage in domestic chores after school more than their male counterparts and that retards them in studying. There is need for research to be conducted to establish why male candidates perform better than female candidates.”

But the Zimbabwe Teachers Association president Richard Gundani yesterday said he was hearing of the new grading system for the first time.

“We find it strange. As veteran educationists we know that an E is only considered as a pass at A Level.”

He said Zimsec should clarify what the new system entails in terms of seeking jobs and proceeding to Advanced Level.

Nhandara said the leakage of a Mathematics paper was contained and did not affect the rest of the candidates.

“With that in mind, we’re pleased to note that the leakage of the Mathematics paper in November 2015 was restricted to a small geographical area that is Harare and Seke.

“In this case 41 people were implicated and convicted. However, it’s prudent to note that of these, only 14 were registered candidates,” said Nhandara.

He said the 14 candidates have since had all their examination results cancelled and are banned from sitting any Zimsec examination for the next two years, along with the penalties issued out by the courts of law.

According to the analysis by the examination mother body, there was a significant improvement in Mathematics (5,17 percent), Integrated Science (10,62 percent) and Physical Science (10,34 percent).

These improvements are in line with the government’s thrust in the teaching and learning of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects.

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  • vuthelinkani

    paper leakages in Harare and Seke? This explains why mashonaland came tops in A and o level results. Grade D and E passess
    ; oops my brother who goe 7Es and 3 Ds in 1992 should start seeking employement

  • abbie makiwa

    Zimsec is heading for a disaster I tell you.Honestly how could men sit down and approve that both a D and an E are considered passes really.Why do people want to lower the standard of education in this country to suit their dull children.People in South Africa and Namibia are the ones who have such lower educational standards not Zimbabwe.Sure they want to tell us that all those people who were failing to get employment because of Ds and Es can now sing halleluah and progress in life.Nhandara and your crew do not give us unheard of issues in zimbabwe.The problem in our country is that once something is introduced,its there to benefit few individuals especially the children of those in higher offices because they are the ones who have the most dull children in the universe.

    • Francis Chibwe Godo

      it is a pass however companies and organizations will still put their own requirements. saying D is a pass depends also on the range. maybe the D is 50 to 55 and C is 55 to 65%.

    • war vet

      phambili le independence, what it now means is that a D or E in O’level is a pass isnt it. We should have people friendly policies, the Public Service Commission has to also have its say as an employer of first choice

    • takudzwa hombasha

      everyone deserves another chance

  • rabusoni

    i am happy becauce now i pass. yesteday i fail by E today i pass. tomoro i go to univesit becauce i pass. thakns zimbabe becauce by flaying calaz 5E agan thakns zimbabe.

  • rabusoni

    piple say i fail ysteday now i am lafing hahaha becauce i pass. thakns zimbabe and zanu

  • villager

    Zimsec should clarify this, is the D and E now a pass above 50 percent, guys we are waiting down here,

  • villager

    With five Es at O’level l can now try becoming a policeman

  • Taphy

    What does this mean for those that wrote their Zimsec and got D’s and E’s and were told they had failed? Unless if the percentage marks have charged and therefore a E grade starts from 50%? Could someone please get a hold of the percentage marks that relate to the current mark grades?

    • khu

      hope it will be declared on the birthday celebrations

  • oskido

    Amasimba aya balibulala ilizwe amashona ?

    • xhiba

      lathi phela siyabesesibonakala njengabafundileyo kanti wena uthini

  • Melusi

    This is total rubbish .We must resist this at all costs !

    • nkosi

      dont be jealous kunceda thina khonokho

      • jephy

        kikiki sengiyodinga certificate yami ye maths ngile D was thinking of writing again

  • Martin Chipimo

    Educationists and Cdes and friends, please I wonder why we should lower the standard in zimbabwe like that. Lets us remain consistent in our grading system “O” Level pass grades A, B and C only?

  • nkosi

    The D and E pass at O’level might give Zanu marks in 2018

  • Mahlaeya

    Considering D and E was meant to cushion the dismal failure of candidates most of whom got these grades. Furthermore it helped to raise the national pass rate which has fallen below the 2014 pass rate. We should remember that these are the first batch of candidates who were taught by teachers whose morale hit rock bottom because of the scrapping of incentives, and holiday lessons. Naturally, the students would fail and to save face, the powers that be clandestinely agreed that a D or an E is a pass!! Cry our beloved education!!

  • xakuxaku

    they also need to equate the number of years in service to be equated to certificate or diploma or degree, because someone who has served for a certain number of years doing the same thing in the same position should be made equivalent to a degreed employee in terms of salary, we need to really enjoy our independence, someone who has served in the same position for more than seven years should be equated to a degree holder

  • Roell

    Personally i see nothing wrong with the decision to consider E and D as passes as long there are checks and balances on the system. The job market and further education institutions will naturally select the best.

    • nkosi

      remember its not always the best who gets the job

      • mkhusto


    • Sabs

      True but bus loads will be sent to institutions with D & E pass marks and then on graduation they will be sent to other provinces to execute their duties, oh ngiyalizwela!!!!!!!

  • Deklerk

    We as educationist believe this lowering of standards by Zimsec was as a result of pressure from High Positioned people who have children with problems passing maths. E-Marking has brought to an end all forms of cheating, hence all this mess. Lilendlebe kodwa alizwa. Lilamehlo kodwa alliboni. Your lafa elihle!

    • xoxo

      for someone to do STEM the person should be holding five Es or better at O’level

  • vusumuzi

    Madoda!!!. Still even when D and E are now c onsidered passes , the highest province achieves a 31 per cent. So what is the percentage of the REAL PASSES?? How embarassing. And who met with the Public , I mean Public Consultations with the Community (Business and Society ) to decide this ? Was the decision done Constitutionally? Zimbabweans the Constitution is being raped by authorities daily and no one and no Organizations speak, even the Law Society of Zimbabwe. Labo MDC nanti ithuba lokuvuka liyitshaye khonalapho i ZANU.

    • msindazwe

      this is real, as it is being said kanti lithi thina sindleni

      • nsingo

        kwaze kwaba mnandi, l can imagine someone saying its for the majority

    • mkhusto

      The real percentage is 27, 9%. Izanu icatsha ngomunwe. There is a crisis in Zimbabwe and zanu just won’t bow down. Kwenziwe njani madoda labo mama

  • Acharike Gandanga

    Pa-nxt door pangu maU ega. Apa vana vacho matriplets.

    • msindazwe

      they can always try again

  • Acharike Gandanga

    Wasarawasara, MT holdings is inviting students fo aprenticeship. Minmum requirements: 5 Es including Engl lang.

  • msindazwe

    just like in the early eighties when they said everyone who finished grade seven should proceed to form one, the previous barrier was done away with, there was an outcry by those who did not want competition

  • joey

    disgusting madofo achanogara kuma Varsity ,Zimbabwe yoparara ,Minister of Education ngaende uyo ,SATAN we dont want to be like South Africana who cant read even at varsity level ndo MA E nema D pass iwawo

  • maqhinga

    Dokora is spot on

  • mkhusto

    The real percentage pass is 27.9%. Zanu is disgusted by their failure. Shame shane dofo…ra shame shame.

  • mkhusto

    Izanu ayilanhlonipho. Lapha sesitshengiswe ukuthi siyizilima ovumazonke. Sitshengiswe ukuthi asisibobantu. Mahlabezulu sivume na izanu idlala ngabantu. Who will accept these Es

  • rejoice

    But what about other people who wrote long back and got D and E are they considered passes also yo its hectic every1 will go to university

  • Brat

    This is against basic principles of continuous improvement in education http://www.leanfundo.com

  • Andile Siziba

    Surely grades D and E are way below 50%. So if they are now considered as passes, how will pupils choose their combination for A’level? How will they even be able to cope with the syllabus in Advanced level as they have clearly failed to grasp the basic principles at O’level..
    And then again, what will be the basis of our education? Are not promoting laziness amongst the pupils as they know they will walk through with Es. So what criteria will universities use to enroll students because this will have a ripple effect. Because A level passes will be eye sore and universities have to accommodate them. Meaning they will produce below standard professionals. So basically meaning that we have thrown our country to the dogs. If they fail to grasp O’level, they will not grasp A’level. And they will not handle university. Not to mention the professional world.
    This is very disappointing. The only sector in our economy that had a glimpse of light, unfortunately that has been turned off….
    What a waste!!!!