Eastern Province BETUZ chairperson Pearson Tembo says an investigation into grade 9 exams must be instituted because the area can’t continue having a bad tag of poor results.

In an interview, Tembo expressed sadness at the low pass rate of grade 9 results compared to grade 7, saying there must be a critical analysis between primary grades and junior primary grades.

He narrated that as it stands, it shows as if the teachers who handle grades 8-9 are unqualified compared to those handling lower grades.

“As a province, we can’t continue coming last or doing badly in examination results, especially grade 9. There must be some investigation to be carried as to why grade 9 results came so bad, while grade 7 results recorded 100 per cent. Now, something must be done because as it stands, it shows that the teachers teaching grade 8-9 are not qualified compared to those teaching 5-7 that’s what it shows. So, we need to improve to ensure the academic bad tag is removed from our region,” Tembo told News Diggers!

He explained that it was common that pupils can progress to grade 8 during grade seven-level, but that some who can’t read, write or speak English.

“I think the government is very slow is implementing the policy where they wanted to abolish junior primary school. The best way they can do is to abolish junior primary schools or send trained teachers to primary schools so that the progression at grade seven-level is genuine, so that every examination grade is a success. But if the situation remains as it is, we shall continue to record bad results, especially at grade 9; that is where the major problem is. As grade 12, we don’t have much challenges,” Tembo narrated.

He also challenged parents to ensure they plan for the education of their children rather than leaving everything to the schools.

“If we are to have brilliant learners, parents needs to come in with a great force; they need to plan because education is all about planning, and if you fail to plan, there is nothing you can do about it. Let them plan and once children see commitment from their parents they will take the matter seriously,” he advised.

When asked about the school dropouts for last year in the province, Tembo called for concerted efforts from all stakeholders without giving up.

He equally expressed concern at the rates of teenage pregnancies and school dropouts, which called on everyone starting from the Head of State to parents to fight the vice.

“The percentage is quite disturbing because the figures such as 5,000 for Chipata and 4,000 for Chadiza; its alarming! And this shouldn’t worry easterners alone, but the entire nation because it’s not only here we record such; even other areas. But the battle should be for everyone not leave the battle to government alone or parents alone, no!” observed Tembo.