Mashudu Netsianda Senior Reporter
DOMINICAN Convent and Green Gables are the best high schools in Bulawayo, both having recorded a 100 percent pass rate in last year’s A-Level examinations.Masotsha High in Magwegwe North nose-dived from a 100 percent pass rate in 2012 to 54,8 percent and is statistically Bulawayo’s worst A’ Level school.
Overall, Bulawayo saw the November 2013 percentage pass rate at all of its 39 high schools fall from the 2012 high of 86 percent to 80,35.
A candidate is considered to have passed A’ Level if they register at least a Grade E in two subjects – representing two points.
Pupils sit for a minimum three subjects.
The Apostolic Faith Church-run Green Gables, formerly Elite High, recorded a significant improvement from the previous year’s 66,7 percent while the affluent Dominican Convent had 98 percent passing in 2012.
Mpopoma High came second with 99,3 percent, while the privately-owned Girls College, settled for third position with a 98,5 percent pass rate.
Petra High ranked number four with 98,5 percent pass rate with Christian Brothers College, a boys-only school, trailing behind with 94 percent.
Pumula High posted a 93,9 percent pass rate, claiming sixth position. St Columba’s in Makokoba, Nketa High and Maranatha Adventist, also located in Nketa suburb, came a joint seventh with 92,5 percent of their students successful.
Next was Sizane High in Pelandaba suburb posting 90,1 percent while Mandwandwe and Masiyephambili High schools came eighth and ninth with 88 percent and 86,9 percent respectively.
Luveve High completed the list of the top 10 ranked schools in the City of Kings with a 86,59 percent pass rate. Bringing the rear were Masotsha High with 54,8 percent, Premier High with 60,2 percent, Eveline Girls High (60,9 percent), Gifford Boys High (61,9 percent), Northlea High (64,42 percent), Entumbane (66,7 percent), Msiteli High (69,20 percent), Sobukhazi High (69,39 percent), Hamilton High (70,7 percent), and Milton High with 71, 8 percent.
Schools that recorded improved results in 2013 compared to the previous year include Bulawayo Adventist School, St Bernard’s in Pumula and Ihlathi High.
But schools such as Founders, Townsend Girls High, Sobukhazi, Eveline, Nkulumane, Magwegwe and Luveve last year recorded a significant drop compared to the 2012 results.
A total of 2,595 candidates sat for the 2013 A-Level examinations in Bulawayo Metropolitan Province, of whom 1,199 were boys while 1,394 were girls.
Candidates who scored eight points and above in sciences were 199 while 323 scooped 10 points and above in arts. Those who got 15 points from three subjects were 34 while 209 failed to score a single point, representing 16,46 percent.
The provincial education director Dan Moyo attributed the drop in the pass rate to reduced learning hours due to double sessions owing to a shortage of classrooms.
“Double sessions are a major factor that contributed to a drop in the pass rate particularly for government schools as that reduces learning hours,” he said.
He added: “You will note that church-run schools performed better compared to government schools largely because they have single learning sessions.
“We also have that period of 2008 when teachers were leaving the country in droves coupled with a shortage of textbooks. That also affected the candidates from the onset when they started doing Form One.
“Perhaps results will start improving in 2015 because those who started Form One in 2010 were not affected by the teacher exodus and textbook shortages. We’re also urging teachers to double up their efforts for better results.”