Back to the drawing board

20 December 2018 | Columns

Another poor performance. Education minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa yesterday modestly admitted that all is not well when it comes to the performance of learners in grade 10. During the official announcement of the examination results of the 2018 academic year for the grade 10 Junior Secondary Certificate and grade 12 higher level (NSSCH), the minister bemoaned the state of affairs, saying it was time to go back to the drawing board “to see what we are doing right and what we are getting wrong”. Although about 66% of the candidates who sat for the grade 12 high level examination qualified for university, the same cannot be said about the dismal performance of grade 10 learners. Hanse-Himarwa yesterday announced there has been a slight drop in the pass rate of grade 10 full-time candidates in 2018 as only 53.3% qualified for grade 11 in 2019. In 2017, the pass rate for grade 10 stood at 55.3%. This means that out of the 40 599 candidates who sat for the JSC examination in 2018, only 23 911 qualified for grade 11. This is clearly no cause for celebration and speaks greatly of the quality of our education. Many factors, including poor teaching, lack of parental support and the sheer lack of commitment on the side of the learner are certainly to be blamed for the status quo. A good education is the foundation of every qualified professional in this country and it is high time that considerable efforts are made to ensure that stakeholders adopt a number of programmes to help address such learning weaknesses. Those who have not succeeded this time around should take advantage of the second chance and improve their subjects, among other options provided by learning institutions.

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