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 Republic of Zambia

MINISTRY OF GENERAL EDUCATION 

STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF GENERAL EDUCATION, HON.  DAVID MABUMBA, MP

 ON THE RELEASE OF THE 2018 GRADE 7 EXAMINATION RESULTS

  

Monday, 24th December 2018

 

The Permanent Secretary – Administration; 

Directors in the Ministry of General Education and ECZ; 

Senior Staff in the Ministry of General Education and ECZ; 

Members of the media present;

Distinguished invited guests ladies and Gentleman.

 

1.0   INTRODUCTION

  • I am delighted to inform the nation that the Ministry of General Education and the Examinations Council of Zambia have finished the processing of the 2018 Grade 7 Examination results.
  • The Examination was written from Monday 5th November, 2018 to Friday 9th November, 2018. This was after suspension and postponement by one week. However, this examination went ahead and was successfully conducted and managed without any case of examination malpractice recorded. There was also no reported case of leakage of examination question papers.
  • I applaud the tireless efforts made by all the stakeholders that relentlessly worked to ensure a leakage-free examination at this level. The public should take note that Examination Malpractices, no matter to what extent or form, remain punishable by law. Therefore, I would like to specifically warn all possible offenders that they will be dealt with accordingly.
  • The 2018 Grade 7 Examination was also significant in that it was for the first time that this examination was written across the borders of Zambia by candidates at St. Jeff’s College Primary School in Johannesburg, Republic of South Africa.
  • I also wish to announce that the selection of the 2019 Grade 8)learners was successfully completed on 23rd December 2018.
  • I congratulate all members of staff in the Ministry of General Education at all levels and the Examinations Council of Zambia for the hard work and timely release of these results. This is a Christmas gift to the nation on this eve of Christmas of 2018. I am confident that we will also give a New Year gift to the nation before the New Year in form of the 2018 Grade 9 results.
  • This work culture of ensuring timely release of examination results allow the Grade 8 and 10 learners to report to school on the first day of the school calendar on 14th January, 2019.

 

2.0   CANDIDATURE

Ladies and Gentlemen

Let me begin by describing the candidature of the 2018 Grade 7 Composite Examination:

  • A total of 443,700 candidates entered for the 2018 Grade 7 Composite Examination compared to 400,802 in 2017. This represents an increase of 7 percent over the candidates that entered for the same examination in 2017.
  • Segregation the number of candidates who entered the examination by sex, a total of 219,658 (49.51%) boys and 224,042 (50.49%) girls entered for the examination.
  • Out of the 443,700 who entered for the examination, 388,442 candidates sat the examination, of whom 192,723 (49.61%) were boys while 192,719 (50.39%) were girls. This figure includes 111 candidates from St Jeff College Primary School of South Africa who also sat the examination.
  • Candidature trends analysis showed that there has been a steady increase in the number of female candidates entering as well as sitting the examination. This increase is attributed to the interventions the Ministry of General Education and other stakeholders have put in place to bring and retain the girl child in school.
  • The Ministry has been recording an increase in candidature over the years and this is attributed to the expansion and construction of classrooms arising from the robust infrastructure development programme currently being implemented by the Ministry of General Education.
  • I wish to assure the Zambian people that the Government through the Ministry will remain committed to infrastructure development programme to ensure the attainment of universal primary education.

Ladies and Gentlemen

A total of 55,258 candidates were absent from the examination, of whom 26,935 (12.26%) were boys while 28,323 (12.64%) were girls. The national absenteeism rate was 45 percent, representing an increase of 3.40 percent, from 9.05 percent recorded in 2017. The number of girls that were absent from the examination in the 2017 and 2018 was higher than that of boys.

  • This extent of learner absenteeism from the examination is big waste in terms of examination materials which were prepared and printed for these candidates at a huge cost to the government because this examination is free to the learners.
  • It is however, of great concern that, despite the steady growth in candidature and the various interventions aimed at reducing absenteeism, the battle is far from being won. The major causes of absenteeism as revealed by the study on learner absenteeism from public examinations conducted by the Examinations Council of Zambia included among others early marriages, teenage pregnancies and inadequate parental involvement in the education of their children.
  • Therefore, this challenge is multi-sectoral in nature, and as such I wish to implore the Provincial Education Officers and all stakeholders to scale up their efforts in addressing this issue through the sensitization of the learners and members of the public about the importance of education, and the need for learners not to absent themselves from public examinations.

 

3.0   PERFORMANCE

Ladies and Gentlemen,

  • Let me now discuss the performance of the candidates that sat the examination according to certificate divisions.
  • There were a total of 239,024 candidates obtaining Divisions 1, 2 and 3; representing 53 percent of the total candidates that sat the examination.
  • A total of 149,307 candidates obtained Division 4, the least grade; representing 44 percent.
  • Further Analysis of results along the lines of gender revealed that boys performed better than girls in all the subjects except English.
  • This call for concerted efforts by all stakeholders: Ministry Officials, Civil Society, Cooperating Partners, Teacher Unions and parents to double their efforts in championing the education of girls.
  • Overall, it is gratifying to note that the trend in performance is showing improvement in the proportions of those obtaining good results. The was an improvement of the proportion of candidates who obtained division 1 in 2018 compared to 2017.(18.40 percent in 2017 to 18.61 percent in 2018).

 

4.0   PROGRESSION RATES TO GRADE 8

Ladies and Gentlemen,

  • Let me now bring your attention to the progression to Grade 8 of the 2018 Grade 7 learners:
  • All the 388,331 candidates who sat the 2018 Grade 7 Composite examination have been selected to Grade 8, bringing the national progression rate to 00 percent from 99.14 percent in 2017.
  • The improvement in the national progression rate is an indication that school places have been created at secondary school level.
  • The Government and the Ministry of General will continue to focus on providing adequate and appropriate infrastructure to ensure that all learners have the opportunity to access all levels of education- early childhood, primary, secondary and tertiary.
  • With this 100 percent progression of learners to Grade 8, I would like to inform the nation that the Ministry of General Education have embarked on the reform of this examination to make more relevant to the needs of the nation.
  • The reforms will take the form of structure of the examination question papers, the grading and purpose of the examination. It will be reformed so that it reports more on the competencies the candidates are able to exhibit after seven years of primary education.
  • This is in line with the Millennium Development Goals of achieving access and quality in education to which Zambia subscribes to.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

  • I hereby now officially release the 2018 Grade 7 Composite Examination results.
  • Members of the public are advised to obtain the official statements of results from the schools where learners wrote their examinations. There shall be no issuance of statement of results from either the Ministry of General Education or the Examinations Council of Zambia.
  • Meanwhile, candidates who wish to access their results before collecting their official statements of results may use the SMS Results Release System (SRRS) offered by the Examinations Council of Zambia. The facility is available on all mobile networks.
  • The parents and guardians of the candidates should note that the 2019 Grade 8 learners will report on 14th January, 2019. A grace period of ten (10) working days have been given to the learners to report to the schools they have been selected to up to 24th January, 2019. The learners, who will not report after the end of the grace period, will forfeit their places.

I Thank You for Listening