Government officials are considering whether or not to continue with the 5 subjects Ordinary Level pass benchmark that has been in place for decades.
Acting Primary and Secondary Education permanent secretary Peter Muzawazi raised the issues recently while addressing stakeholders who attended a recent parliamentary committee workshop on education strategic planning.
He asserted that the government was re-assessing the requirement that pupils need to re-write subjects they would have failed even when they intend to pursue a career in arts. Said Muzawazi:
We are debating on whether we should maintain the current benchmark of regarding only those who have attained five Ordinary Level passes as having passed and having others re-writing for 10 years even if they would have passed three art subjects and are hoping to take art as their profession.
Currently, an Ordinary Level pupil should have five passes including English and Mathematics to be deemed to have passed and be eligible to proceed to Advanced Level.
The tragedy is that less than 40 per cent of students who sit for the O’ Level exams attain the required 5 subjects in a single sitting.