The Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (ZIMSEC) released the November 2020 ZIMSEC Ordinary Level Examination results this Monday.
ZIMSEC Board chairman Professor Eddie Mwenje told a press conference on Monday morning that Heads of Examination Centres will be able to collect the results for their respective schools/centres from the ZIMSEC Regional Offices starting today 3 May 2021.
Mwenje also said results will be accessible online for five days only through the ZIMSEC portal available at www.zimsec.co.zw from 10 pm today, 3 May 2021.
A total of 264 099 candidates sat for the November 2020 Ordinary Level examination as compared to 296 464 candidates who sat for the same examinations in 2019.
There was a decrease in the candidature of 32 365, thus translating to a percentage decrease of 11%.
In 2020, a total of 184 249 candidates wrote 5 or more subjects and 45 644 passed 5 or more subjects with a grade C or better giving an overall pass rate of 24.8%.
In 2019, 200 062 wrote 5 or more subjects and 63 215 obtained Grade C or better in 5 or more subjects. This translated to a 31.6 % pass rate.
The statistics show that the 2020 pass rate decreased by 6.8% from that of 2019. However, historical analysis indicates that in 2014 a pass rate of 22.4% was recorded while in 2017, a pass rate of 28.7% was recorded.
School candidates who wrote five or more subjects were 168 272 and 43 244 obtained Grade C or better in 5 or more subjects, yielding a 25.7% pass rate.
In 2019, school candidates were 176 866 out of which 59 879 obtained Grade C or better in 5 or more subjects, yielding a 33.9% pass rate. This shows that the 2020 pass rate for school candidates decreased by 8.2%.
Private candidates who wrote 5 or more subjects in November 2020 were 15 977 and 2 403 obtained Grade C or better in 5 or more subjects, which translates into a pass rate of 15.04%.
In 2019, 23 196 wrote 5 or more subjects and 3 336 obtained a Grade C or better in 5 or more subjects, yielding a pass rate of 14.4%. This shows a 1.04% increase in the 2020 pass rate for private candidates.
The total number of female candidates that entered for the November 2020 Ordinary Level examinations was 136 847.
Out of this number 95 314 wrote 5 or more subjects with 22 581 passing 5 or more subjects, thus translating to a pass rate of 23.7%.
The total number of female candidates that entered for the 2019 O level examinations was 152 389.
Out of this number 101 798 wrote 5 or more subjects and 34 952 passed 5 or more subjects yielding a 34.3% pass rate. The pass rate for 2020 November female candidates decreased by 10.6%.
The total number of male candidates who entered to sit for the November 2020 Ordinary level examinations was 127 152 and of these 88 935 wrote 5 or more subjects and 23 580 passed 5 or more subjects translating to a percentage pass rate of 26.5.
In 2019 there were 144 075 male candidates who registered for the O level examinations. Of this number, 98 264 wrote 5 or more subjects and 32 388 passed 5 or more subjects yielding a pass rate of 33%. The pass rate for male candidates in 2020 decreased by 6.5%. The results show that male candidates performed slightly better than female candidates.
The overall pass rate for males was 26.5% and that for females was 23.7%. The same trend was observed in the November 2019 examinations where male candidates performed better than females. However, more female candidates registered for the examination than their male counterparts.
Special needs candidates
A total of 321 special needs candidates sat for a range of subjects from 1 to 12 in the November 2020 examinations.
Of these 223 wrote 5 or more subjects and 48 passed 5 or more subjects yielding an overall percentage pass rate of 21.5.
The total number of special needs candidates who sat for the November 2019 O level examinations was 332.
Of these 215 registered for 5 or more subjects and 64 obtained 5 or more subjects yielding a percentage pass rate of 29.8. The 2020 pass rate for special needs candidates decreased by 8.3%.
Professor Mwenje blamed the low pass rate on the disruption of the school calendar in 2020 that was caused by the COVID-19-induced lockdowns. He said:
It is important for all the stakeholders of examinations to note that the 2020 school calendar was disrupted and that candidates wrote the examinations under lockdown in 2021. We are grateful to Government for allowing the examinations to go on.
Amidst the strict observance of the WHO suggested COVID 19 precautions to mitigate against the spread of the novel virus, examinations were written and marked without any major incidents or notable setbacks.
The examinations went on exceptionally well without major incidence. This was enabled by the immense support ZIMSEC received from the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education and the Ministry of Health and Child Care.