We Must Review Zimsec’s Grading System, We Cannot Have 75 Percent Of O’ Level Students Failing: Minister Mavima

Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Paul Mavima has said that there the grading system used by the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) needs to be reviewed as the education system is producing too many failures. The minister argues that this not an accurate reflection of Zimbabwe’s education system. In an interview with the weekly publication, The Standard, Mavima said:

Oh yes, I believe we did well. If you were to look at the statistics from Zimsec, you will realise that the performance of our students in English had improved tremendously. There are circumstances which caused this.

Yes, I have issues with the pass rate itself, it’s so low and I believe it’s not a true reflection of our education system as a country. I am of the view that we need to change the way we grade. We cannot have 75% of our O’Level students failing to progress further just because of the way we grade them. We will need to look at that anomaly.

The education system should not be there to produce more failures than those who pass, we need to review that so that we accord people according to the skills and ability not only based on an elitist scheme which talks to Mathematics, English and Science as important subjects. We need to review that.

We have to look at the grading system so that we look at those with extraordinary skills such as farming, technical skills as opposed to focus only on those with academic ability. The thrust of any Education System should be to produce people that respond to the needs of society at any particular time. Our economy has drastically changed.

More: Read The Full Interview In The Standard

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8 comments on “We Must Review Zimsec’s Grading System, We Cannot Have 75 Percent Of O’ Level Students Failing: Minister Mavima

  1. I think the lack of proper infrastructure, the morale for teachers and students does contribute to the grades of our education system and results.
    We can not have unpaid teachers and hungry students concentrating on this with the political atmosphere present.

  2. The 75% failure rate is a true reflection of teaching and learning standards in our rural Day Secondary School or “Uppertops”. I however agree with the professor that there is need to promote practical subjects such as agriculture, building, woodwork,fashion & fabrics, food & nutrition etc. The colonial government banned blacks from acquiring industry-relevant skills through the Industrial Conciliation Act. Only whites and coloureds could be enrolled at polytechnics and be engaged by industry as apprentices to train as electricians, motor mechanics, diesel fitters, boiler-makers etc. There was however little discouragement for blacks to train for less-economically useful white collar jobs such as clerks.

  3. Minister you must have your brain examined by by a psychiatrist. How do you want to do that when the grading system is already very low! A “C” for Cambridge is 60to 69 but for Zimsec lower than that. An “A” for Cambridge is 80% and for ZimSec it’s 70. ZimSec is much easier compared to Cambridge. Why can’t the country adopt the same grading as other international institutions?

  4. The pathetic rural pass rate is directly attributed to your minister and your friends in gvt. First its the Rural Allowance for rural teachers. Surely 14 dollars is an insult at its highest level this is unacceptable, the conditions for rural and urban teacher are totally different thats for everyone to see, we at rural areas do not have an opportunity to develop educationally among other numerous disadvantages. You turn a blind to these remote schools sorry state of affairs but always promote already well established skuls. For example if a gvt official ‘takes a tour of Lupane’ the only school they visit and donate to will be the already established Fatima High. The rest of the skuls in the deep rural area are never cared for.

  5. The moral of teachers and the status of infrastructures need to be upgraded first. how best would you redress the grading, down to 30% or 20%? woda kuramba mhopo irikumusana uchisiya ziso rine mbonje?

  6. Apart from that zimsec staff needs total revamp. Why take months to work on cases of malpractice without even giving feedback to the affected cases. In fact there’s need to change that term. Either it is used with alleged cases of malpractice while still under investigation. I was appalled by the conduct of the officers at zimsec who took close to a month to release my sons results. Surely the results for the rest of the candidates were out on 19 January 2017.On 22 my son was told that he could not get his since they were withheld by zimsec because of malpractice. 23 we were called to school to be informed.
    For the next three and a half weeks we waited for a response. Nothing came until we had to travel to Harare only to discover that nothing was being investigated. The file was empty. It was only the next Monday that things started moving with the regional manager visiting the school to get information. After that the results were said to have been released on 20 February but up to now 5 March we haven’t received the results. We have officers who are bent on telling lies. We phone Harare and we are told results have been sent through swift following day there’s nothing. Surely do they know what families go through. After all my son was not at fault. He was just a victim implicated by a student who decided to write my sons name on his physics paper 3 answer scripts. The same boy wrote a girl’s name on his mathematics paper yet the girl was not even at school since she had written in June and passed. It’s disheartening to note that the boy in question will just walk free having disadvantaged my son like this. I don’t even know when l will get my sons A level results. Not sure even how authentic they will be because just yesterday they had indicated that there are missing results they are trying to trace.
    Minister before we can regrade we need to to attend to all these things. Otherwise zimsec is fast losing credibility. My son had applied for a scholarship to go and study aircraft engineering. Deadline for submission of results was 8 February. Results still not here but investigations finalised a month ago. Now it’s March.

  7. It is folly to grade the academic and or intelligence of a pupil by his or her success in Language especially English. Language is just a means to communicate and can not be used as a yardstick to measure someone’s intelligence.

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