The Sunday News
Nontobeko Mlotshwa, Sunday News Reporter.
THE Progressive Teachers Union Zimbabwe (PTUZ) has blamed the lockdowns that were put in place to contain Covid-19 last year as the main reason that contributed to the drop-in pass rate at Ordinary Level.
According to statistics released by the Zimbabwe Examination Council, the 2020 O-Level pass rate went down by 6.8 percent compared to last year.
Zimsec said a total of 184 249 candidates wrote five or more subjects and 45 644 passed five or more subjects with a Grade C or better giving an overall pass rate of 24,8 percent.
PTUZ president Dr Takavafira Zhou said in an interview that most pupils were not able to fully attend lessons and this contributed to a drop in the pass rate.
“Effects of Covid-19 contributed largely to the drop-in pass rate as students were not attending classes.
“Instead of face-to-face lessons, television and radio lessons we introduced and more than 75 percent of rural students had no radio and television access.
“Yes, it was a very brilliant way to educate students but many pupils did not benefit hence they lost a lot of ground,” he said.
Dr Zhou also said poor infrastructural development in rural areas was also a major issue.
“There is a very poor infrastructural development in rural areas. One would see classroom blocks being destroyed by natural causes which include rains and strong winds and students will be stranded,” he said.
Dr Zhou said teacher moral was also a major factor as most teachers absconded complaining about their salaries.
“Last year teachers were not attending classes citing incapacitation. Students were going to classes but they would find no teachers at school and that was a major contribution to the drop as many lessons were missed which were then not covered as students sat for their examination just after the strike.
“With this year’s school calendar, we have hope that pass rate will go up. With the issue of absconding teachers being dealt with, we have hope that 2021 will being us great results,” said Dr Zhou.