Auxilia Katongomara, Chronicle Reporter
GRADE Seven pupils wrote their first Agriculture public examinations this year, recording a 50 percent national pass rate during a year in which the number of subjects they wrote increased from four to five.
The introduction of Agriculture is part of a drive by Government to revamp the school curriculum.
“Agriculture is the newly examined subject at Grade 7 and the pass rate in Agriculture is 50, 13 percent which is comparable to all other subjects. The Braille candidates recorded a pass rate of 71, 43 percent in Agriculture which is higher than 50 percent for Enlarged Print candidates and 31.59 percent for Hard of Hearing candidates,” said Zimsec director Mr Esau Nhandara.
He said the total number of candidates who registered for the Grade 7 November 2017 Examinations was 326 109 and 25 519 pupils wrote the new subject.
Mr Nhandara said the national pass rate has been rising steadily since 2012.
“The 2017 national pass rate for both school and private candidates stands at 44, 73 percent recording an increase of 1, 83 percent from 42, 90 in 2016. The national pass rate for school candidates is 44,78 percent which shows an increase of about 1,78 percent from the 2016 national pass rate of 43 percent,” said Mr Nhandara.
“Out of the 326 109 candidates who sat for the Grade 7 November 2017 examinations, 166 043 (50.92 percent) were female and 160 054 (49,08 percent) were male indicating that there is gender equity in the number of candidates sitting for Grade 7 examinations in Zimbabwe.”
Three special needs categories: Braille, enlarged print and hearing impairment were analysed.
Braille candidates dropped from 85 in 2016 to 40 this year, with the pass rate going up from 31, 76 percent in 2016 to 39,29 percent this year.
“There was an increase in pass rate for female Braille candidates from 28.89 percent in 2016 to 45.45 percent in 2017. Although the number of male Braille candidates dropped from 40 in 2016 to 17 in 2017, the pass rate for 2017 did not change from last year’s 35 percent,” said Mr Nhandara.
Statistics show that the number of candidates for Enlarged Print increased from 59 in 2016 to 92 in 2017 and the percentage pass rate declined from 67,8 percent in 2016 to 35,87 percent this year.
“The candidature for learners with hearing impairment almost doubled from 85 to 153 while the percentage pas rate dropped significantly from 31,76 percent to 17.65 percent. This was due to a fall in both male and female pass rates by almost 50 percent.
“The subject pass rate for learners with special needs are comparable to the national pass rates which is a reflection of the high quality of education in Zimbabwe,” said Mr Nhandara.
In the indigenous languages, Shona had the highest candidature and pass rate with 266 946 recording a pass rate of 85,74 percent with the lowest candidature in Kalanga at 74, 90 percent.
Ndebele recorded an 81, 21 percent pass rate with TshiVenda recording 73,50 percent and Tonga having a 69,76 pass rate.
Nambya and Xichangana recorded 74,70 percent and 81, 10 percent pass rates.