A TOTAL of 130, 500 pupils out of the 357,985 who entered the 2014 grade nine school examinations failed to obtain certificates, Minister of Education John Phiri has announced.
Dr Phiri also announced that a further 58,110 pupils, representing 28,231 boys and 28, 879 girls, did not write the examination.
He expressed concern over the large number of candidates who did not qualify to be on the selection list owing to failing the examination or only managing to get a statement of results.
A total of 114,104 obtained statements while those who did not pass in any subject are 16,396.
Dr Phiri said 169, 375 had been selected to grade 10 after successfully obtaining full grade nine certificates out of 357, 985 candidates who had initially entered.
“A total of 299, 875 candidates sat for the 2014 grade 9 examination, of whom 154, 506 were boys and 145, 369 were girls. This represents a percentage increase of 4.75 per cent over the 285, 636 candidates who sat for the 2013 examination,” he said at a press briefing in Lusaka.
Dr Phiri attributed the increase in the number of students to the creation and expansion of classroom space arising from the infrastructure development and upgrading of basic schools programme.
“It is the Patriotic Front Government’s resolve to create and expand classroom space at secondary school level. Government will therefore continue with the infrastructure development and basic school upgrading programme to ensure that all learners who complete grade 7 enter, remain and complete secondary school education,” he said.
Dr Phiri said it was the desire of the PF Government for every learner to have an opportunity to exhibit excellence during public examination and progress through their educational ladder without obstacles.
He further directed all provincial education officers through the permanent secretary in charge of education Dr Patrick Nkanza to make every effort to accommodate all the leaners with full grade 9 certificates at grade 10 level in their respective provinces.
“I demand a comprehensive report on the grade 10 enrolments in each province by February 28, 2015. Each provincial educational officer should include the measure that the province has taken to broaden access for grade 10 and stipulate what the province has done to those who have statements,” he said.
Dr Phiri also directed Dr Nkanza to closely work with the provincial educational officers to further enhance the implementation of all strategies aimed at improving learning achievement in all subjects.
“It ought to be noted that until the nation begins to get results from the implementation of the new curriculum, thousands of grade 7 learners, graduate into secondary schools with limited English language skills. The secondary schools must organize fast-track training in English language skills for grade 8 entrants in term one,” he said.
Dr Phiri also revealed that there were 132 cases of examination malpractice recorded.
He said while 36 resulted from being assisted, 96 were as a result of the pupils smuggling unauthorized materials in the examination room.
Those who have qualified to grade 10 will report for classes on February 2, 2015.