BY SILAS NKALA
POOR 2021 Grade 7 pass rate is haunting villagers in Nkayi, Matabeleland North province after 473 out of 2 852 pupils that sat for the examinations last year passed.
The Nkayi community parliament last week said the poor pass rate was caused by the deployment of non-Ndebele speaking teachers to the area.
Other issues raised were lack of motivation on the part of teachers, absenteeism by pupils, long distances travelled to school by pupils and lack of learning materials, among others.
The community parliament secretary Mandla Mahlangu of Dakamela said an analysis of 2021 Grade 7 results showed that the area had a 37,11% pass rate, which dropped by 4% from 46,88% recorded in 2020.
Mahlangu said in Matabeleland North, 534 schools had pupils that sat for the examinations and out of that number, Nkayi had 85 schools that sat for Grade 7 examinations. He said pupils at schools such as KweSengulube and Mdlawuzweni in Nkayi were not recorded as having sat for the examinations.
“A total of 2 852 pupils attempted the 2021 examinations in Nkayi. Of the 2 852 that attempted, only 473 passed. The pass rate there is 17%, and that means 2 379 children failed. That equates to a massive 83% failure rate,” Mahlangu said.
“Guwe primary is rated as the best school in Nkayi, but in Matabeleland North it is rated at number 24.
“The second best school Mpamiwa is rated number 33 in Matabeleland North, while the tenth best school in Nkayi, Mphakama primary is rated number 105 in Matabeleland North.”
He said Nkayi schools that had a zero pass rate included Amazumabili, which had 38 students that attempted the exams, Bhubhu with 24, Jengwe with 4, Malinga with 19, Mandlethu with 10, and Sando with 13 students that wrote Grade 7 exams.
“The number of kids that had zero passes was 108. The contributing factors to poor pass rates include absenteeism. Some parents also do not value education and they keep children at home when there are chores to do.”
Mahlangu said the other reason could be lack of passion and dedication by teachers because they come from other provinces.
He also said poor infrastructure demotivated teachers from being serious, adding that most schools in Nkayi had poor learning facilities.
Mahlangu said the introduction of the new curriculum had also contributed to poor pass rate, while several parents were struggling to buy books for their children.
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