GENERAL Education Minister Dennis Wanchinga has announced that 135,300 Grade nine candidates out of 254,852 have progressed to Grade 10, while all Grade seven candidates have progressed to Grade eight, reflecting an improvement in performance for both grades.
And Wanchinga announced that both Grade eights and 10s will open school on March 1, 2021, with a grace period running up to March 12.
Announcing the Grade nine and seven results in Lusaka, Friday, Wanchinga disclosed that only 135,300 Grade nine pupils passed their exams to progress to Grade 10 out of 254,852, representing a pass rate of 53 per cent, leaving 47 per cent who failed.
Wanchinga said that the Grade nine pass rate had, however, improved from 46 per cent recorded in 2019, adding that the Grade seven pass rate also improved.
“A total of 284,755 candidates entered the 2020 Grade 9 Internal Examination, reflecting a growth of 2.43 per cent when compared to the 2019 candidature. Of the 284,755 candidates, 139,777 were boys and 144,978 girls. Of the 284,755 who entered the 2020 examination, a total of 254,852 candidates, representing 89.5 per cent, sat the examination. Out of the 254,852 who sat the examination, 124,422 were boys and 130,430 girls. At this level also, more girls than boys entered and sat the examination. A total of 29,903 candidates were absent, bringing the 2020 national absenteeism rate to 10.5 per cent compared to the 2019 national absenteeism rate of 10.22 per cent. The rise in absenteeism rate at this level also was minimal by 0.28 percentage points. Of the 254,852 candidates who sat the 2020 examination, 135,300 candidates (53.09 per cent) passed the examination. This represents an increase of about seven percentage points in performance when compared to the pass rate of 46.14 per cent recorded in the 2019 examination. A total of 98,505 candidates, representing 38.65 per cent obtained statements whilst 21,047 candidates, representing 8.26 per cent failed the examination,” Wanchinga said.
“Analysis of performance by sex showed the following: More boys (53.62 per cent) than girls (52.59 per cent) obtained certificates; more girls (39.54 per cent) than boys (37.72 per cent) obtained statements and; more boys (8.67 per cent) than girls (7.87 per cent) failed the examination. The analysis of the performance by subject revealed that the highest percentage mean score was recorded in Design and Technology at 62.77 per cent and the least, in Mathematics at 21.00 per cent. Mathematics continues to pose a challenge to candidates and this calls for concerted efforts aimed at improving performance. Analysis of performance by sex revealed that apart from the usual English and some Zambian languages, in 2020, girls also performed better than boys in Business Studies. The 2020 Grade 10 national progression rate is 53.07 per cent, an increase of 6.93 per cent on the 46.14 per cent attained in 2019. Allow me to inform the nation that all the 135,300 candidates who had obtained full Grade 9 Certificates progressed to Grade 10.”
Wanchinga said his Ministry remained concerned about the increasing numbers of absenteeism for both grades during exams, a situation he pledged to investigate.
“A total of 467,834 candidates entered the 2020 Grade 7 Composite Examination reflecting a growth of 1.66 per cent from 460,174 candidates who had entered for the examination in 2019. Of the 467,834 candidates, 239,501 (51.19 per cent) were girls and 228,333 (48.81 per cent) were boys. Of the 467,834 candidates who entered the examination, 403,445 candidates, representing 86.24 per cent sat the 2020 examination. 195,507 (48.46 per cent) were boys and 207,938 (51.54 per cent) girls. More girls, both in absolute numbers and proportion, entered and sat the examination. A total of 64,389 candidates were absent, bringing the 2020 Grade 7 national absenteeism rate to 13.8 per cent. The 2020 absenteeism rate slightly increased by 0.48 percentage points. The increase was within tolerable limits considering the negating factors during the conduct of the examination. Of the 403,445 candidates who sat the 2020 examination, 72,229 (17.91 per cent) obtained Division One, 102,914 (25.52 per cent); Division Two, 72, 279 (17.92 per cent); Division Three, 155,841 (38.65 per cent). In comparison to the 2019 results, the 2020 results are slightly better,” he added.
“Analysis of the Grade 7 performance by sex showed the following: more girls (18.09 per cent) than boys (17.72 per cent) obtained Division One; more girls (25.93 per cent) than boys (25.08 per cent) obtained Division Two; more girls (18.06 per cent) than boys (17.78 per cent) obtained Division Three; more boys (39.42 per cent) than girls (37.91 per cent) obtained Division Four. At all the four divisions (1,2,3 and 4), girls performed better than boys. The analysis of the performance in core subjects revealed that the highest standard mean score was recorded in Mathematics at 99.16 per cent and the least, in Integrated Science at 99.05 per cent. Further analysis of performance by sex showed that girls performed better than boys in four (English Language, Zambian languages, Creative and Technology Studies and Social Studies) out of six subjects. Girls also performed better than boys in Special Paper one (Verbal Reasoning). The 2020 Grade 7 national progression rate is 100 per cent like the 2019 Grade 7 Examination. This means that all the 403,445 candidates who sat the 2020 Grade 7 Composite Examination progressed to Grade 8.”
And Wanchinga announced that both grade eights and 10s will open schools on March 1, with a grace period running up to March 12.
“Before I go into the details of the results, I am glad to inform the nation that the Chinese Language Examination was conducted for the first time. This brings the number of foreign languages subjects at this level to two together with the French language, not overlooking English language, which is the language of instruction. There were no cases of examination malpractice reported during the conduct of the 2020 Grade 7 Composite Examination. The public is informed that the SMS Result notification system will be available on all networks except Airtel using the 8383 short code. For the statements of results, candidates shall access them from ECZ Portal using their examination numbers at no charge. Certificates shall be printed by the ECZ in due course for collection by deserving candidates from respective Examination Centres. The 2021 Grade 8 and 10 learners will open on Monday 1st March, 2021. The grace period of two weeks will end on Friday 12th March, 2021,” said Wanchinga.