Clinton Moyo, Sunday News Reporter
ONLY three pupils scored four units in the 2016 Grade Seven examinations from a total of 125 primary schools in Lupane District, Matabeleland North Province, Sunday News can reveal.
According to statistics availed during the presentation of the 2017 Better Schools Programme Zimbabwe (BSPZ) Merit Awards held at Lupane State University recently, of the three pupils, two were from one school.
The pupils, Gideon Dube and Gemimman Dube, were from Mtshibini Primary School while the third Thamsanqa Khumalo was from Daluka Primary School.
The total number of pupils who obtained four units in Lupane is attained by one school in some districts in other provinces raising serious concern over the performance of schools in Matabeleland North.
According to the statistics, the pass rate in the district was also low with the best overall primary school in the small category with a maximum of six to 29 pupils going to Janke Primary School which recorded a 56 percent pass rate while Mtshibini won the award in the medium category which are schools with a maximum of 30 to 40 candidates by a 88,33 percent pass rate.
Daluka Primary School also got the award in the large category of schools with 41 and above candidates by attaining a 50,62 percent pass rate.
The most improved rural primary school in the small category was Janke from St Paul’s zone which recorded a 56 percent pass rate from 33,33 percent in 2015 while Kenyandavu in the medium category got 47,50 percent after attaining 26,83 percent in 2015.
Mtshibini Primary won the award for having the highest number of candidates with full certificates with 35 pupils having full certificates. It also got awards for schools with 90 percent and above in English and General Paper.
Meanwhile, six pupils passed with 7As and above at Ordinary Level in the boarding schools category.
The best overall pupil at O-level was Mackenzie Rapelang from Regina Mundi with eight As.
Amandlethu High was the best performing day school at O-level while Regina Mundi had the highest percentage pass rate in the district with 63,51 percent among boarding schools.
In A-level examination results, 12 pupils passed with 11 points and above with Amandlethu High having the highest percentage of pupils with 12 points in the small category. Fatima High was the best school in the large category with 91,84 percent pass rate.
Contacted for comment, Matabeleland North provincial education deputy director for primary schools, Mrs Beatrice Manjere, said the poor performance among primary schools in Lupane was due to a poor learning environment which is different from urban schools.
“The problem facing most rural pupils is mainly because of the poor learning environment. You find that in most cases children have to walk long distances to school and when they get there they will be tired and most of them live with grandparents who cannot assist them with homework,” said Mrs Manjere.
Schools in Matabeleland North have over the years performed badly in national public examinations mainly due to a shortage of qualified teachers.
Some schools are alleged to be run by village heads as qualified teachers shun the schools citing poor infrastructure.