ZIMBABWE’s latest Ordinary-Level examination results reveal that the pass rate has been improving over the past five years despite the fact that more than half of the students failed, the local public examinations body has said.

In a statistical analysis for the past five years’ O-Level results, Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) spokesperson Nicky Dhlamini said the pass rates over the past five years had improved from 22, 38% in 2014 to 33,86% in 2019.

While the pass rate graph over the past five years shows a drop in 2017, there, however, has been a cumulative progression in pass rates.

Zimsec said in 2014, the O-Level pass rate stood at 22,38%, in 2015 it was 27,86%, in 2016 it was 29,96, in 2017 it dropped to 28,70%, but it jumped up to 32,83% in 2018 and 33,86% in 2019.

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He said there was an upward movement in performance for the 2019 November cohort of 1,03% compared to the 2018 November cohort.

Dhlamini also said the results showed that girls in the country were taking education seriously, with the number of girl candidates in the November Zimsec O-Level examination surpassing that of boys.

“The recorded number of female candidates who sat for the November O-Level examination was 152 389, compared to 144 075 which was the number of boys who sat for the same examinations,” the Zimsec analysis said.

In the November Zimsec A- Level examinations, girls also attained better passes than the boys after 19 877 girls sat for the examination and 89% passed two or more subjects. For males, 22 666 boys sat for the examinations and 84,5% passed two or more subjects.

On the issue of leakages of examination papers, Zimsec said the creation of more cluster centres had helped in securing the question papers which schools collect on a daily basis before the examination is written.

“The majority of school/centre heads have also been instrumental in assisting with the maintenance of integrity systems by alerting Zimsec authorities of any malpractices within the system. The tip-offs anonymous is a platform where the public is able to raise alarm of fraud and malpractice before, during and after the examinations cycle.”

Dhlamini said the platform is toll-free and protects the whistle-blower. He said the whistle-blower remains anonymous which has resulted in more people using the platform to assist Zimsec in curbing the malpractice.