BY NIZBERT MOYO
The National Association of Schools Development and Committees (NASDC) has blamed the government for the poor Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) 2020 Grade Seven results that saw the pass rate fall by 9% compared to the 2019 results.
The associations said the introduction of online learning due to the COVID-19-induced lockdown was elitist and discriminatory, and catered for only a few, mainly those in urban centres.
Grade Seven results for 2020 examinations released by Zimsec last week showed a national pass rate of 37,11%, 9,79% lower than the 46,9% recorded in 2019, with schools in Matabeleland provinces the worst performers.
NASDC acting chairman Maxwell Mkandla told NewsDay that those who passed were based in urban areas because they had access to facilities for online learning.
He encouraged government to pay rural teachers attractive allowances to motivate them.
“Online learning is an elitist method of learning. We cannot talk of reducing data bundles or radio lessons when schools in rural areas do not have connectivity,” Mkandla said.
“Some urban learners were also doing face-to-face lessons during the lockdown towards examinations and those in rural areas only emerged during examinations without any preparations.”
Presidential spokesperson George Charamba on Monday blamed some teachers’ unions for the poor pass rates, labelling them animals.
However, the Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz) reacted angrily to Charamba’s allegations, accusing government of demotivating teachers through underpayment.
Artuz also blamed poor rural leaning infrastructure for the poor showing, adding that the pupils had less learning time due to COVID-19, while poverty and poor connectivity made online learning impossible in the rural areas.
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