STUDENTS who sat for the Certificate of Secondary Education Examinations (CSEE) last year recorded massive failures with 240,903 out of 397,136 candidates scoring division zero.
That means only 126,847 students who sat for the exams passed, scoring between Division I and IV, according the Minister for Education and Vocational Training, Dr Shukuru Kawambwa.
Among those who passed, 80,686 were boys and 46,161 were girls. A total of 789 candidates had their results cancelled due to various forms of cheating such as copying from one another, possession of mobile phones in examination rooms as well as impersonation and exchanging of question scripts or answer sheets.
There was also a batch of 24 candidates whose examination results were nullified for use of abusive language in their answer sheets. Minister Kawambwa said the government is considering actions against them since it is against examination regulations.
However, in a rare move, the minister did not mention best performers in last year's exams, pledging to do so and recognize them in the near future. "We could not have their names since we wanted to have a summary of the results but it is prudent that the students are recognized," Mr Kawambwa said while responding to queries from journalists.
This is the first time that the ministry is making announcements of Form Four results, a task which has been performed by the National Examination Council of Tanzania (NECTA). Seminary and single-sex schools continued to dominate in the best 20-schools, according to the results which were released.
Saint Francis Girls Seminary in Mbeya was the best performing school followed by Marian Boys Secondary School and Feza Boys Secondary School of Coast and Dar es Salaam, respectively. Marian Girls Secondary School and Rosmini Secondary School of Coast and Tanga regions, accordingly, were placed on position number four and five.
Reached for comment, the Headmistress of Marian Girls Secondary School, Ms Flora Mapunda, whose school has been performing well for years, thanked God for continued success. "We are however not as happy as it should be and this is because we have some candidates who have scored division three and four which we had wanted to be history in our schools," she said in a telephone interview.
"One secret to achieving good results every year round is discipline coupled with favourable learning and teaching environment, the Headmistress hinted. On the other hand, Kwamndola S.S (Tanga), Ungulu S.S (Morogoro) in addition to Kikale S.S (Coast), Nkumba S.S and Tongoni S.S, both of Tanga, were the worst performers.
Minister Kawambwa, flanked by highranking officials in his ministry, attributed the massive failures to lack of teaching staff coupled with shortage of teaching and learning materials in most schools. "It should also be noted schools which performed well have favourable learning environment and enough teachers," he said.
A total of 411,230 first time-students had registered for the Form Four exams last year but only 397,917 sat, representing 96.57 per cent. In general, a total of 480,036 first timer and repeaters had registered but only 456,137 sat for the exams which were conducted between October 8 and 25, last year.