The Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) yesterday released 2022 results for Grade 7 examinations which showed that girls outshined boys by a 7,4-percentage point margin.
The results also indicated a 1,04% drop in the national pass rate from 41,13% in 2021 to 40,09%.
There was, however, a 5,4% increase in the number of candidates who sat for the examinations.
Announcing the results, Zimsec board chairperson Eddie Mwenje said: “A total of 343 169 candidates sat for the 2022 Grade 7 examinations compared to 325 573 candidates who sat for the same examinations in 2022 showing a 5,4% increase in candidatures. This is equivalent to an additional 17 596 candidates.
“Out of the 343 169 candidates who sat for the 2022 Grade 7 examinations, 177 466 were females while 165 703 were males. The pass rate for female candidates is 43,66%, while that of male candidates stands at 36,22%. The results show that female candidates out-performed their male counterparts.”
The results showed that candidates performed well in indigenous languages.
The pass rate for students with special needs fell by almost 24%.
“A total of 323 candidates with special needs sat for a range of subjects from five to six. Of these, 208 wrote six subjects, while 91 hard of hearing candidates sat for five subjects. The pass rate for special needs candidates in 2022 was 30,43% compared to 54,88% recorded in 2021,” Mwenje said.
He noted that while the examination council was grappling with examination leaks, measures were being put in place to stop the practice.
“Security of examinations is a continuing process. We will keep on working towards improving to stop the leaks. We have ways of dealing with students who leak examinations,” Mwenje added.
Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe president Obert Masaraure said the free-falling pass rate reflected the crisis facing the education sector.
“We continue to have a low pass rate, not only (at Grade 7), but also at Ordinary Level. This is due to neglect, teachers are neglected, we have bad infrastructure and everything is chaotic,” he said. “The results are not a true reflection, because when they are marking, they become lenient, so any exam marker will tell you it could have been far worse than that. Government needs to seriously inject resources into the education sector.”
There was uproar early this year after it emerged that 51 primary schools in Matabeleland North province recorded a zero percent pass rate in the 2021 Grade Seven public examinations.
The number was a slight improvement from the 2020 one when 85 schools in the province recorded a zero percent pass rate.