Coltart admits 'O' Level results 'crisis'

HARARE - Education minister David Coltart yesterday blamed the disappointing November 2012 Ordinary Level examination results on the “extreme crisis in education experienced between approximately 2005 and 2009”.

Results released on Monday showed 81,6 percent of the 172 698 who sat for the examinations failed to pass at least five subjects with grade C or better.

Only 31 767 of that number were successful, translating to a pass rate of 18,4 percent.

Despite increased investment in education and a massive drive financed by Unicef to supply textbooks to schools, the 2012 pass rate was down from 19,5 percent in 2011.

In 2010, the pass rate was 16,5 percent when 229 522 pupils sat examinations, down from 19,33 percent in 2009 when just 87 201 were examined.

Faced with the shocking numbers, Coltart admitted the only positive was that more and more children were sitting examinations after a decade-long economic crisis devastated the education sector and led to massive drop-outs and teacher flight.

Curiously, Coltart even took credit for the low pass rate, stating: “The decline in the pass rate is an indication that Zimsec have followed my instruction that standards are to be maintained so that we have an accurate idea of the health of our education system.” — New

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