The drop in Grade 12 pass rate in the province is good for pupils because it means anti-malpractice measures are working, North-western Province Educational Officer (PEO) Stephen Chishiko has said.
The pass rate for the province in the 2015 examination dropped from 54.2 per cent last year to 52.2percent this year.
Mr. Chishiko explained that the drop had been necessitated by various interventions put by his office to discourage and completely crop out examination malpractice.
“The province was recording good numbers but as a ministry in the province we discovered that there were many gaps in administering of the examinations. The high pass rate looked good on paper but as a ministry we want to produce pupils who excel due to hard work and merit not because of malpractices,” he said.
Mr. Chishiko said his office wanted to produce students who would not struggle once they were in college or university.
He explained that students who did not pass legitimately struggle to cope with the demanding pressure and hard work that came with pursuing higher education.
“We don’t want to continue producing students who cannot work hard to achieve their goal. It is a fact that not all who pass Grade 12 will manage to go to college but if they have a mind-set of achieving and hard work they will still venture into other avenues and thrive,” Mr Chishiko said.
He said his office with other stakeholders carried out vigorous sensitizations meetings around the province on the dangers of examination misconduct.
“Our office and other stakeholders did not only sensitize the children but the parents, teachers and other players in administering examinations. As a ministry in the province, I can proudly say our interventions are yielding positive results even though the drop in pass rate may be interpreted negatively,” Mr Chishiko said.
He however said some pupils who sat for subjects such as design and technology had not done well due to various factors such as lack of equipment in different schools.
“There was a challenge with the design and technology subject because most schools don’t have the right equipment hence the poor performance,” Mr Chishiko said.