Government has observed that girl candidates who sat for the 2017 grade nine external examinations obtained better results than boys in almost all the subjects.

Meanwhile, government says it has instituted disciplinary measures which may result in the dismissal of about 500 teachers with fake qualifications.

Minister of Higher Education Dennis Wanchinga announced this in his Ministerial statement to Parliament yesterday.

And Wanchinga said all candidates did not perform well in newly introduced subjects like Information Communication Technology studies.

“Mr Speaker, I would like to place on record that results have been distributed to all districts for the 2017 grade nine external examinations. In fact Mr Speaker, allow me to thank the Examinations Council of Zambia and the staff at the Ministry of General Education for this speedy processing of results and this is because of the training of teachers as examiners which has enabled the GCE examinations to be marked in the provincial centers and this process has reduced the marking period by about eight days. Mr Speaker, the 2017 external examinations were the first to be written after the separation of external candidates from the internal candidates under the revised curriculum of 2013, likewise, the 2017 GCE examination was the first to be written under the revised curriculum that begun being implemented in 2014,” Wanchinga said.

“Mr Speaker, allow me to highlight the results of the 2017 grade nine external examinations. A total of 12,498 candidates entered the 2017 external grade nine examinations, of whom 5,627 or 45 per cent were male and 6,871 or 55 per cent were female. Of the candidates who entered for the examinations, 11,019 actually sat for the examinations. The breakdown of candidates who sat for exams was 4,895 or 44.4 per cent were and 6,124 or 55.5 per cent were females. When you look at the trend in terms of how candidates have been seating for these exams Mr Speaker, you will note that the grade nine external candidates from 2010 to 2016 there is a trend which showed that about 65,000 to about 84,000 candidates sat for these grade none examinations annually.”

Wanchinga said about 60 per cent of the candidates who sat for the examinations cleared and obtained certifications while 39.9 per cent of the candidates failed the examinations.

“The number of candidates that obtained the actual certificates was 326, this number represents about 3 per cent of the candidates while a total of 6,330 presenting about 57 per cent of the candidates obtained statements. A total of 4,363 representing about 39.9 per cent of the candidates failed the examinations. It should be noted here Mr Speaker that those we are talking about who obtained certificates were those who sat for the actual subjects to qualify for a certificate but the majority of candidates were those who only sat for one or two subjects,” he said.

Wanchinga further disclosed that candidates did not perform well in ICT studies and other newly introduced subjects with the exception of French.

“I wish to inform the nation that this examination is a make up examination and as such some only entered for one subject which is less than the six subjects required for a complete certificate. The other highlights which the House may wish to know is that of the 11,019 who sat for examinations, there were more girls who obtained certificates than boys. Candidates performed better in practical subjects like Art and Design, Home Economics, Design and Technology and Musical Arts. This performance was much better than was observed in Mathematics, Science and ICT subjects. Performance in newly introduced subjects was much below 40 per cent with the exception of French which we observed was above 50 per cent,” Wanchinga said.

Meanwhile, Wanchinga said government had instituted disciplinary measures which may result in the dismissal of about 500 teachers with fake qualifications.

He was responding to a question from Serenje MMD member of parliament Maxwell Kabanda who wanted to know if the ministry had taken any action against teachers who were found with fake qualifications.

“Indeed the Teaching Council of Zambia through the registration process has been able to identify over 500 teachers who appear to have some kind of fake qualifications. Now these matters have been investigated and the Ministry has instituted the process for disciplinary measures which may culminate into dismissal of many of them. But I cannot tell for sure whether there is a relationship between the preference of malpractices and the qualifications of the teachers. So there could be but there is no empirical evidence to support that, thank you very much Mr Speaker,” said Wanchinga.