Privately owned primary schools continued to excell in the national Standard VII national examinations in Arusha Region this year.
Only one public run school was among the Top 10 list, the regional results released here on Saturday indicated.
According to the regional education officer Mr Raymond Mapunda, Upendo Primary School in Arumeru District belonging to the government emerged the 8th best school in the region.
The best school in Arusha, St Margareth had an average marks score of 212.60, closely followed by Kilimanjaro English Medium School, the country's best primary school last year, scoring 212.46.
A total of 39,857 pupils sat for the national examinations in the region this year of whom 28,160 (14,040 boys and 14,120 girls) passed their exams.
He told the regional selection board that the Standard VI exams passing rate in the region has gone up to 70.7 per cent, a five per cent rise from 65.7 per cent last year.
He said 26,413 of those who passed were assured of slots in various secondary schools, the school for talented children, technical and boarding schools and scores of other day schools.
The regional authorities were still looking for placings for 1,726 students, 798 of them being girls and 928 boys. The majority of them (1,134) are from the Arusha City, 529 Monduli and 63 from Karatu.
Statistics issued by the REO further indicated that the regional pass rate had continued to rise from 61.5 per cent in 2007 through to 64.5 per cent (2008), 65.7 per cent (2009) to 70.7 per cent this year.
The number of primary school leavers who passed their Form One entry examinations in the vast region, also rose from 18,633 in 2007 to 27,216 (2008), 27,177( 2009) to 28,160 this year.
Besides St. Margareth located at Kisongo area along the Dodoma Road and Kilimanjaro English Medium School on the Namanga Road, others in the Top list are : Amani, Hady, Jue, Esa, Upendo, Luck and Trust St. Patrick.
Kilimanjaro Academy, then little known, caused sensation last year when it emerged the best performing primary school in the country, beating 14,389 primary schools on Tanzania Mainland had by then.
The school,established less than a decade ago, had all its 27 students scoring an average A in the national Std VII exams in 2009. It had the score of 220.2593 which no other school in the country ever reached.
Mr Mapunda could not compare the Arusha and the national results, but said some of the schools in the region had also fared well at the national level. He said some schools in the region were among the 10
best in the country.
The region has performed well in national primary and secondary schools examinations for years now, a situation mainly attributed to emerging privately-owned and English-medium academies.
Ilboru High School, normally reserved for talented students, this year produced the best Form VI candidate in the country while St. Constantine, one of the oldest English-medium academies, had its student declared the best in the Cambridge examinations (Form IV level) in the world.
However, members of the regional examination board played down the achievements the region was making in national examinations, saying. education for the children of the pastoralist communities left a lot to be desired.