AT least 50 per cent of pupils who sat for Standard Seven 2012 National Examinations have scored 'A', 'B' and 'C' grades while the other half of the total number of candidates (867,983) attained the lowest grades, 'D' and 'E'.
Announcing the results before journalists in Dar es Salaam, the Acting Executive Secretary of the National Examinations Council, Dr Charles Msonde said the overall pass mark has improved between 6.01 and 28.6 per cent compared to last year's results and pupils scored highly in Kiswahili subject but recorded poor performance in Mathematics.
Meanwhile, the council has nullified examination results for 13 candidates in connection with examination cheating allegations. The number is minimal compared to last year (2012) when 293 candidates were 'axed'.
"The examinations held between September 11 and 12, this year registered 867,983 candidates out of the number 52.52 per cent (455,896) being girls and 47.48 per cent (412,087) boys. A total of 23,045 candidates did not sit for the exams for various reasons including truancy," Msonde explained.
However, the results have come out quite early compared to some past years because the computerised Optical Mark reader (OMR) system was employed and worked very well according to Dr Msonde.
"The purposeful hand-marking for specified schools proved some human errors which were eventually rectified through computer system.
The trial exercise (hand-marking) was employed on 20,795 candidates (1.2 per cent) but set right accordingly," he explained. According to the agreed grading system, a candidate who might have registered an excellent performance would have scored 250 marks in total.
However, out of the total number of candidates, only 427,606 of them scored above 100 marks, the number tallying with the reported 50.61 per cent pass level.
Classification according to gender and grades attained, statistics indicate that 5,942 (1.5 per cent) boys scored 'A', while 3,184 boys (0.71 per cent) girls scored the same grade ('A').
As for grade 'B', a total of 49,199 boys (12.1 per cent) were graded so, while 34,094 (7.64 per cent) girls were graded under the same category.
According to the data availed to the media yesterday, majority of those considered to have passed the exams fall under 'C' grade such that 165,238 (41.4 per cent) boys and 170,949 (38.32 per cent) girls were graded the same.
However, the officer admitted that more efforts were needed for the nation to register an impressive number of successful candidates.
Judging from the statistics which indicate that 417,315 candidates equivalent to 49.39 per cent failed ('D' and 'E' grades), the appeal for additional efforts becomes absolutely relevant.
Commenting on the just released results, the Chairman of the Association of Private School Owners, Mr Mahamood Mringo wished pupils in both public and private schools perform the best.
He was making reference to the examination results which indicated that 68 per cent of candidates from public schools performed well in Kiswahili subject compared to 98 per cent for pupils in private schools. As for the English subject, 33 per cent did well in government schools while 99 per cent excelled in private schools.
"Deliberate efforts are necessary to make sure that all Tanzanians have access to better education," Mringo said. Another academic stakeholder, Rabson Materu (retired school teacher) called for an overhaul of the education system to allow serious teaching of English subject starting from elementary schools.
"All children of this nation must be assisted to learn English right from the lowest level. English is the world language. Nearly 95 per cent of all subjects in secondary schools are taught in English.
Students fail not because they are dull but they cannot express themselves in English and this is why they only do well in Kiswahili subject. Time for serious change has come," Materu said.