EASTERN Province has recorded the highest Grade 12 school certificate pass rate at 71.01 percent while Copperbelt has the lowest at 43.3 percent, Minister of General Education John Phiri announced yesterday.

And Dr Phiri has disclosed that the GCE examination would be held before the August 11 general elections.

The minister said this yesterday in Lusaka during the announcement of the release of the Grade 12 examination results for 2014.

Dr Phiri said out of a total of 125,656 candidates who sat for the examination 71,702, representing 57.05 percent obtained school certificates.

He said of the total pupils who sat, 30,750 (54.35 percent) were girls while 40,952 (59.26 percent) were boys, which also indicates an increase of five percent for candidates who participated.

Dr Phiri said Grade 12 candidates may use the SMS Results Release System (SRRS) to check for their results or obtain the official statements of results from schools where they wrote their examination from and not from the ministry or the ECZ.

And Dr Phiri has implored teachers, head teachers and officers to avoid partisan politics but that they should remain professional.

“I expect teachers to be above partisan politics and concentrate on their core duty which is to help the millions of Zambian children in the education system obtain the one instrument they can use in their lives to break out of poverty,” Dr Phiri said.

He also disclosed that the Examination Council of Zambia (ECZ) had granted a provisional school certificate examination centre status to 220 newly upgraded day secondary schools, which implies that the 2016 grade 12 candidates at these school will be entered for the first time and write their examinations at these day schools.

The minister called upon the beneficiary schools to ensure that security protocols were adequately addressed prior  to the delivery of examination materials and that the gains made towards conducting free leakage examinations were jealously guarded.

He said the ministry was implementing in all schools “Catch-Up Programme” aimed at providing remedial lessons to learners that find difficulties in learning. “District standards officers at all levels must intensify their contacts with all schools particularly to the low achieving schools to ensure that they are implementing the programme appropriately for the learners to benefit,” Dr Phiri said.

He revealed that a total of 33 cases of examination suspected malpractices were reported, of which 30 cases involved individuals while three cases involved entire centres.

“These cases were in the form of smuggled unauthorised materials into the examination room, assistance, prior knowledge and copying. The results for the affected candidates and centres have since been withheld pending resolution by an appropriate committee of Council.

School administrators should make sure that the teachers work hard to ensure that the syllabus is adequately covered, learners were adequately prepared,” Dr Phiri said

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