STANDARD Seven examination results were released yesterday showing that a bigger number of girls have been selected to join secondary school education (Form One).
A total of 281,460 girls, equivalent to 50.20 per cent have been selected to join secondary school education, compared to the 279,246 boys. This is equivalent to 49.80 per cent.
Likewise the number of pupils who cheated in the exams has dropped to 293, compared to 9,736 last year.
Announcing the results, the Minister for Education and Vocational Training, Dr Shukuru Kawambwa, said that a total of 560,709 pupils (equivalent to 64.78 per cent), out of 865,534 who sat the national examinations have been selected to join secondary school education.
"The statistics show that the number of those selected to join secondary schools has increased by 8.8 per cent compared to the 515,187 selected to join Form One last year," Dr Kawambwa pointed out. Detailing the results, Dr Kawambwa noted that the top mark was 234 out of 250 for both girls and boys.
He added that a total of 3,087 candidates passed the exams with grade A, 40, 683 obtained grade B, 222,103 got grade C, 526,397 achieved grade D and 73,264 had grade E. A total of 894,839 candidates registered for the national examinations, out of which 468,583 (equivalent to 52.37 per cent) were girls and 426,256 (equivalent to 47.63 per cent) were boys.
Dr Kawambwa noted that a total of 865,827, equivalent to 96.76 per cent of the registered candidates sat for the Standard Seven examinations, out of which 456,082, equivalent to 52.68 per cent were girls and 409,745, equivalent to 47.32 were boys.
"A total number of 29,012 candidates (equivalent to 3.24 per cent) did not sit for the exams due to various reasons including absenteeism, sickness and deaths. The number of girls stood at 12,501 (equivalent to 2.67 per cent) and boys 16,511 (equivalent to 3.87 per cent)," the Minister explained.
Minister Kawambwa noted that for the first time in the history of the country, the candidates did the examinations using a new technology called the Optical Mark Reader (OMR). He noted that computers were used to grade the exam papers. OMR is a special scanning device that can read carefully placed pencil marks on specially designed documents.
OMR is frequently used in forms, questionnaires and answer-sheets. For those who cheated in the exams, the minister said, the government will take appropriate action against them. He further said that to address the problem of those who get into secondary schools without knowing how to read and write, there will be another exam in secondary schools.
"Those who will be found to have entered secondary schools without knowing how to read and write will have their registration annulled," he explained. Asked which schools performed better between public and private primary schools, the minister said both performed well without going into details.
"In general both have tried their best, each has made positive strides. You should also know that many of the primary schools are government-owned. Only a few are private," he added.