Updated: 2021 Grade 7 results out

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BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA/LORRAINE MUROMO

THE Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (Zimsec) has released the 2021 Grade Seven results showing a 4% improvement in the pass rate from 37,11% registered in 2020.

The 2021 pass rate was 41,3%.

The results were released two days before schools open for the first term on Monday.

According to Zimsec, the total number of candidates who sat for the 2021 Grade 7 examinations decreased by 0,6% from the 2020 entry of 327 55 to 325 573.

The decrease was attributed to early pregnancies.

Zimsec board chairperson Eddie Mwenje said the 41,3% pass rate was enhanced by the continuous learning assessment activities and also due to increased learning time in 2021 compared to 2020.

In a related matter, the Primary and Secondary Education ministry has since postponed the opening of schools for Form 1 classes to February 14 to allow parents to secure places for their children following the release of the Grade 7 results.

Primary and Secondary Education minister Evelyn Ndlovu said the online enrolment process for Form 1 boarding places would close on February 11, 2022.

The enrolment for day scholars will be done concurrently with that of borders.

“Parents and guardians who wish to send their children to boarding schools are advised to upload their children’s results on the ministry’s electronic platform: www.emap.co.zw as from February 7, 2022 when the platform will be open for heads of boarding secondary schools to commence their enrolment of 2022 Form 1s,” Ndlovu said.

The school calendar for the rest of the classes will remain the same.

Meanwhile, educationalists have said plans by government to enrol 10 000 more teachers before schools open were unrealistic.

Government recently announced plans to hire 10 000 additional teachers to reduce the teacher-pupil ratio to 1:35, and also fill vacant posts.

Former Primary and Secondary Education minister David Coltart said government’s plans to hire 10 000 more teachers would not solve the education crisis.

“It is totally unrealistic. Teachers are not the same as unskilled labourers, they cannot be locked out of thin air. Professional teachers need to be properly trained and even then they need several years in a classroom before they become truly effective teachers,” he said.

“The government’s attitude betrays a fundamental lack of understanding about the nature of the teaching profession.”

Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) president Takavafira Zhou said: “The current challenge facing the education system in Zimbabwe is payment of a living wage to teachers.

“Unless this issue is addressed, the education system will continue to suffer serious damage that ultimately would ruin the future of many children, let alone the development of the nation.”

Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz) president Obert Masaraure said government was supposed to be worried by the high staff turnover.

“We need to address the fundamental question of improving the welfare of teachers and then we can have a flood of the best teachers. Even if we recruit 10 000 this month we will likely lose 40 000 by the end of the year,” he said.

In a related case, the Zimbabwe Teachers Association (Zimta), which is the largest teachers union, yesterday joined other unions in declaring incapacitation, a development which spells doom ahead of the re-opening of schools on Monday.

Zimta president Richard Gundane said the union resolved to call for an industrial action following consultations with its 43 000-strong membership.

Unions that have declared incapacitation include the PTUZ, Educators Union of Zimbabwe, Artuz and the Zimbabwe National Teachers Union of Zimbabwe.

“Pursuant to the meeting, the national executive resolved to declare a state of incapacitation by its members and further extended this to include all public sector educators who are in solidarity with suffering colleagues,” Gundane said.

But government has said it was unfazed by the teachers’ threat to boycott classes.

Primary and Secondary Education ministry spokesperson Taungana Ndoro said: “We are very confident that teachers will be in schools on Monday.

“We always expect the mantra of teachers threatening to boycott classes. But there are some teachers who are very noble, who joined the profession because of a calling. These will be on duty. What is very unfortunate is that some of the teachers’ unions’ leaders are not active teachers and will be out of touch with what will be happening in classes.”

Teachers are demanding  pre-October 2018 salaries of at least US$520.

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