Auxilia Katongomara, Chronicle Reporter
TWENTY-NINE primary schools in Matabeleland North Province recorded a zero percent pass rate in last year’s Grade Seven examinations, but there was an improvement in the overall provincial pass rate.
Last year the same number of schools recorded the zero pass rate but officials have said it’s not the same schools as some have improved.
Matabeleland North deputy director responsible for primary education, Mrs Beatrice Manjere said the low marks are attributed to teacher shortages and new schools without adequate materials.
“We have 29 schools that recorded zero percent pass rate. Same number as last year but different schools and some are new comers. We are going to thoroughly supervise these schools. We will be assisting them on how to handle multi grade teaching because with most of these schools they are small schools,” said Mrs Manjere.
She said some of the new schools have a staff complement of three teachers who have to teach all the grades.
“We have to staff develop them on multi grade teaching and equip them with some teaching strategies like early reading initiative which means encouraging pupils to have a culture of reading ,” said Mrs Manjere.
She said they were looking forward to more teachers in the recruitment exercise being undertaken by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education. “The pass rate by subject for the province by subject is 30,4 percent and by units its 43 percent, an improvement from 2017 record of 37 percent. We are happy with the five percent increase and I think this could be attributed to the supervision visits which were made by the province to the districts and also by strategies in teaching such as early reading initiative,” said Mrs Manjere.
She said eight students scored five units and they are mainly from Hwange district.Mrs Manjere said the province has a total of 600 primary schools, and 563 of them had candidates sitting for the Grade Seven examinations.
Mrs Manjere said overall the province scored 41,82 percent pass rate in English, 41,82 percent in Mathematics, 71,41 percent in IsiNdebele; 38, 26 percent in
General Paper; 47,63 percent in Agriculture; 67,24 in percent Tonga; 92,98 percent in Shona and 71,3 percent in Nambya.
“In terms of Tonga we still have a shortage of teachers. We still need Tonga speaking teachers to teach Tonga,” said the deputy education director.
“For Tonga language which had a candidature of 3 980 pupils, 139 scored distinctions translating to a pass rate of 67 percent while 51 candidates sat for Shona, with four distinctions recorded translating to 92 percent pass rate,” said Mrs Manjere. – @AuxiliaK