Urban schools tumble in rankings

Posted on March 8, 2012 | Category: Politics; Business, Sport



SECONDARY schools in Zimbabwe’s  urban centers performed poorly in  both the 2011 Ordinary and Advanced Level  results, figures released by  the Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council showed on  Tuesday.

Nyanga High School in Manicaland was statistically the  best school followed by St Ignatius in Mashonaland East at both levels countrywide,  but only three schools in  Harare and Bulawayo made the top 10 in tables  dominated by Manicaland  and Mashonaland East provinces.

ZIMSEC released a table of the  top 10 schools with the highest pass  rate at A’ Level, and a top 50 chart of the  best performing schools in  O’ Level from last November’s examinations.

Of the 10 A’ Level toppers,  Mashonaland East contributed four  schools, Manicaland three with the Midlands,  Masvingo and Harare  contributing one each.

Manicaland and Mashonaland  were again dominant in the O’ Level  league, claiming 10 spots each and leaving  the other eight provinces in  their wake.

Just one Harare school – ZRP High  (4th) – made the top 50 of the  best performing schools at O’ Level,  while Bulawayo managed two –  John Tallach (6th) and St Columbus’ (30th).

Harare’s Zengeza High slotted  in at 8th in the top 10 A’ Level schools.

Matabeleland North province  was the only one to register once in both  leagues  (Marist Brothers  (14th)), while Mtshabezi Mission (35th)  and Usher Girls High (45th)  were Matabeleland South’s only two  representatives.

Officials say Zimbabwe has 2,300  secondary schools, and the major  towns and cities – Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru,  Masvingo and Mutare – have  the highest density of secondary schools.

But traditionally, boarding  schools – mainly rigorously-selective  Christian schools – in the rural provinces have  produced the best  results.

ZIMSEC officials say both the  A’ and O’ Level results represented a  year-on-year increase in the pass rate,  albeit coming from a low base  after a decade-long decline in standards which  coincided with  Zimbabwe’s worst economic crisis in history.

The O’ Level results showed a  10 percent improvement on 2010, the  pass rate – pupils obtaining five or  more subjects with Grade C or  better – rising from 16.50 percent nationally to  19.50 percent.

A’ Level, which has a smaller intake  and rigorous screening, saw a  jump from 75.99 percent in 2010 to 85.25 percent  in 2011. A pass at A’  Level means a student obtained two or more passes with  Grade E or  better.

Professor Norman Maphosa, the  ZIMSEC board chairman, said 241,512 pupils had sat O’  Level exams, up from 229,522 in 2010.
There  was, however, a drop in the A-Level intake from 27,782 in 2010 to 25,136 in  2011.

Professor  Maphosa said Grave 7 results had also improved by four  percent in the last year,  rising from 25 percent in 2010 to 28.9  percent. Some 288,365 pupils sat exams,  down from 303,978 in 2010.

Professor Maphosa said: “It  is pleasing to note that across all levels, the pass rates are showing an  upward movement trend.”
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