The drop in the Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council, ZIMSEC, 2020 O level pass rate by 6.8% from the 2019 pass rate has raised a red flag on how our education system is gradually deteriorating, the analysis of the 2020 candidates results reflects the level of depreciation being suffered by our education system. Statistics show a decline of 11% on total number of candidates who sat for the examinations. The 11% can only be attributed to some learners who either failed to register or sit for exams. Enrolment statistics never dropped. There is a high probability that the candidates who failed to show up for the exams may never have a chance to sit for exams in future. Apart from drop in the national pass rate there was a 10.6% drop of pass rates for girls and 6.5% drop for boys in comparison with the 2019 gender-based pass rates, the changes in the gender-based pass rates are a reminder of gendered inequalities on access to education.
Indeed, there is a crisis in the education sector, the drop in the ZIMSEC O’level 2020 pass rate is a sign that the whole system is going down the drain and tantamount to producing pseudo graduates. The poor pass rates across the nation are direct attributes of poor investment into the education sector amidst the covid-19 pandemic by the government of the day. The emergence of the pandemic brought with its lockdown which crippled the smooth flow of the 2020 academic calendar, instead of adapting to the lockdown settings by putting in place sustainable mechanism that save our education as a nation. Its shocking that the deficit in the education system has been turned into a blame game by the orchestrators of the prevailing crises in the education sector.
It’s known to everyone that you reap what you sow, the 2020 ZIMSEC results are a clear indication that the government is not dedicated to investing in education.
This note serves to clear teachers off the mess in the education sector and direct the shortcomings in the education system back to the source, below is a list of contributing factors to the quagmire in the education sector particularly the 2020 candidates.
- Covid-19 induced lockdown which saw the 2020 academic calendar being cut short on the 24th of march up to the year end.
- Unavailability of a sustainable scheme to ensure online learning is accessible to all learners including those from poor backgrounds.
- Learners got trapped into money making activities together with social immoralities associated with idle minds in learners.
- Pushing for the continuation of exams by government without proper learner preparation. Learners did not learn.
- Lack of resources in schools to support the new curriculum
- Poor teacher remuneration, current salaries demotivate teachers to diligently offer services.
As ARTUZ we condemn the blame game being insinuated by government on teachers, its total tomfoolery to point fingers at teachers over the dismal performance of the 2020 candidature. ARTUZ is a pro poor education movement whose DNA manifests zeal for equal opportunities for learners without any for of discrimination based on social classes and geographical locations, we love our education system and we’re dedicated to save it from the jaws of the eccentric ruling elites by all means necessary. We call upon the responsible authorities to act immediately in addressing the factors contributing to the shortcomings in our beloved education system to avoid the prevailing challenges as well as poor performances of candidates in the future.