Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
GOVERNMENT has deferred the first term opening day for Form One classes as Grade 7 results have not been released.
The learners, who are transitioning from primary school to secondary level, were expected to start school on Monday 10 January with the rest of the learners.
Grade 7 pupils sat for the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council public examinations at the end of November after the schools’ calendar was altered due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Schools were initially set to reopen on July 28, but rising Covid-19 cases saw Cabinet shelving the opening to the end of September.
The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education adopted bridging methods to ensure that learners were adequately prepared to write their final examinations at the end of November.
In a statement yesterday, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education said the 2022 Form 1 classes will have a new opening date as their Grade 7 results are not yet out.
“Due to the still pending processing and finalisation of the 2021 Grade 7 examination process, the 2022 Form One cohort of learners will have their opening date deferred until the Grade 7 national results are released,” read the statement.
The ministry said schools are going to offer Form One boarding school places once the Grade 7 results have been released.
“Parents and guardians who wish to send their children to boarding schools are advised to apply on the ministry’s electronic platform www.emap.co.zw. The selection of learners for both boarding and day schools will be done by school heads as soon as Grade 7 results are out,” read the statement.
The ministry said the opening date for the rest of the learners will continue as planned in line with the education calendar.
“The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education would like to inform the nation and its stakeholders that only 2021 O and A-level candidates with outstanding examination components will be going back with effect from Monday 3 January 2022 for the purposes of continuing with the examination process,” read the statement.
Bulawayo Province produced the best results in the 2020 Zimsec Grade 7 examinations with the country’s pass rate being adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and teachers’ strike.
The country’s Grade 7 pass rate dropped from 46,9 percent in 2019 to 37,11 percent last year.
Bulawayo recorded a 66,8 percent pass rate, dropping from 79 percent recorded in 2019.
Harare had the second-best results with a 66,5 percent pass rate, a drop from 73 percent recorded in 2019.
The two metropolitan provinces are the only ones that attained an above 50 percent pass rate in 2020 as other provinces recorded between 15,9 percent and 38 percent pass rates.
Matabeleland North Province had the worst results at 15,9 percent pass rate from 27 percent recorded in 2019 followed by Mashonaland Central with 22,7 percent from 35 percent in 2019 and Matabeleland South with 25 percent, a drop from 39 percent in 2019.
The 2020 pass rate is the worst the country has produced in six years as no Grade 7 pass rate had been below 40 percent since 2015. – @nqotshili.