THE Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (Zimsec) has blown its own trumpet for registering a record 104 315 candidates for next month’s “O” Level examinations, which is way above regional trends.
In a statement, Zimsec said the new record confirmed its status as an examination body of excellence in the southern African region.
However, since taking over local exams from Cambridge in 1994, Zimsec has been under fire over recurring exam leakages putting a spotlight on its credibility.
“For the first time since the establishment of council, the Zimsec “O” Level entries for June reached an all-time record of 104 315 candidates in 2014. Before this milestone, the highest June entries at “O” Level entry were experienced in 2002 and 2003 when the entries were 80 514 and 80 005 respectively,” Zimsec director Esau Nhandara said in a statement.
However, the record entries come against the backdrop of a 20,72% pass rate recoded in last year’s November examination which 285 260 candidates sat for compared to 268 854 in 2012.
Nhandara said it was “even more interesting” when Zimsec 2014 June entries are compared with Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Swaziland and Zambia’s annual entries last year.
The Botswana Examination Council had 34 069 entries, Lesotho (13 398), Malawi (127383), Swaziland (55 572) and Zambia 106 956.