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Poor 2012 'O' Level results: Manifestations of a neglected generation
Student Christian Movement of Zimbabwe (SCMZ)
February 08, 2013

"Even if good people fall seven times, they will get back up, But when trouble strikes the wicked, that's the end of them" (Proverbs 24:16)

SCMZ is deeply disturbed by the poor 2012 'O' Level results that have been making the news headlines, lately. The decline of the country's once well-regarded education system has been relegated to the peripheries of the country`s top priorities, while the responsible parties waste time and resources on cheap blame game and party politicking. Years down the line, concrete proof has manifested itself through the 2012 'O' Level results which saw candidates failing dismally. 2012 examination statistical reports shows that only 31 767 pupils' attained passes in five subjects out of 172 698 who sat for the public examinations. The pass rate translates to 18.4 percent, a drop from last year's 19.5 percent. It is further reported that male candidates performed better than their female counterparts. This outcome becomes a point of concern to SCMZ as we have the welfare of students at heart.

It is quite disheartening that regardless of all the glaring pointers, no one wants to take the responsibility. Some have blamed teachers who are not serious and committed to the upliftment of education. However, according to the Education, Sports and Culture Minister, Senator David Coltart, the blame is on the Government's failure to improve teacher's salaries and working conditions. It then becomes ironic that while teachers are to blame for their lack of commitment, the Government's actions are justified regardless of obtrusive misappropriation of large amounts of funds under the guise of the so-called national priorities. Unfortunately for the deprived students, they have had to pay the price the hard way as this can be a permanent threat to their development and growth in life. The concern is that this lack of accountability is seriously decreasing the standards of education in Zimbabwe.

More blame has been directed to the commercialisation of education. When the country gained independence in 1980, the new government introduced a policy of free education in a bid to educate the majority of the population who were sidelined through colonial discrimination and inequalities. Eventually, 33 years down the line; it is unfortunate that education has become expensive and a profit making business. As a result, corruption in terms of entry requirements, studies and examinations has become the norm for many schools. It is important for the government to look seriously into the wellbeing of teachers if Zimbabwe is to reclaim its position on the literacy radar.

Research also shows that since government scrapped the Zimbabwe Junior Certificate examinations and localised 'O' and 'A' Level examinations in the mid-1990s, education standards have been tumbling. The Junior Certificate examinations were a good way of monitoring the quality of education that is being offered in schools and it served as an opportunity to correct all mistakes and fix all stumbling blocks in preparation for the best in Ordinary Level. Not only did it monitor the quality of education, but it also inserted some seriousness in students as they would aim to perform better. It is important for the government to reconsider introducing the Zimbabwe Junior Certificate exams.

While no one can willingly come afore and take responsibility of such a dismal performance, it is high time the Government of National Unity swallows its pride and own up where it has erred, for without a well fed education system our developmental dream will never see the light of day. There is need for a holistic approach by the government to restore the standardisation of the country's education system. To fellow brothers and sisters who did not make it, SCMZ urges you not to lose hope for the Bible says that God understands and prepares us for whatever challenges we encounter in our lives - Proverbs 24:16. MAY PEACE PREVAIL AMONGST US!

Visit the Student Christian Movement of Zimbabwe fact sheet

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