12 December 2018

Botswana: PSLE Results Improve 1.16 Percent

Teacher trade union Botswana Sectors of Educators Union (BOSETU) has hailed teachers for a sterling job that has resulted in an improvement in the 2018 PSLE Examination results. BOSETU Publicity Secretary, Edwin Maitshoko, said the results are a reflection of the hard work, dedication and commitment that teachers always exhibit in carrying out their work amid difficult circumstances under which they toil. "We salute all teachers in this sub - sector for the hard work that they have put in teaching and preparing students for the 2018 PSLE," he said .

On Monday Botswana Examinations Council (BEC) released the results of the candidates who sat for the 2018 Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE). Out of a total of 46 4 32 candidates who sat for the examination, 33 791 candidates obtained a Grade C or better (grades A, B &C), meaning that they passed the examination, while 12 641 candidates obtained a Grade D or worse (Grades E, U & X), or simply put, they failed the examination. "As BOSETU, we are concerned that of the 12 641 candidates who have not done well, government will still catapult them through to the next stage through the Automatic Promotion Policy. BOSETU condemns this policy with the strongest terms possible and calls upon government as a matter of urgency to resort to repetition for those who did not do well as a short term intervention and in the long term introduce the Multiple Pathways Approach in which students would be channeled appropriately to their areas of strength," said Maitshoko.

Notwithstanding the commendation Maitshoko dismissed the 1.16% improvement as an insignificant increase when compared to the 2017 candidates who sat for the same examination. He said this is a result of a myriad of challenges that teachers face in their work, among them anaging extremely large class sizes, teaching in open spaces owing to shortage of teaching facilities, shortage of teaching materials, absence of specialization Policy. He implored Government to move with speed to address impediments to effective teaching and learning in mainstream schools.

Announcing the release of the PSLE results, BEC Chief Executive Officer Prof Brian Mokopakgosi said the 2018 national examinations were marred by maladministration and malpractices by both staff and students something which has resulted in the delay of publishing standard 7 results of one centre.

Prof Mokopakgosi noted that they discovered five cases of maladministration done by examination administering staff in the PSLE exams with one case of malpractice. Due to the malpractice alleged case whereby students were caught engaging in fraudulent means during the exam period, he said 17 students were graded X in the meantime to allow for the investigations to continue. Mokopakgosi also said the form 3 and form 5 exams had experienced similar cases and they will be dealt with when focus shifts to them with regards to the release of the results. "These cases are an worrying issue to us the BEC and they are putting the credibility of the exams in doubt, some of the invigilating staff were caught in wrongdoing conduct such as starting exams before exact time while some students were found in bad practices in the exam and as we speak that 17 students were graded X and the investigations at that centre (namewithheld) are ongoing and the situation is assessed to see how the students' fate might be after completion of the investigations. The centre will be made known to the public once the investigations and final decision has be taken on the future of X graded students at the moment," said Mokopakgosi.

Further, BEC Executive Secretary said there was reported cases of break- ins in schools where examination material was located but the investigations reveals that the exam material wasn't tempered with. He pointed out that disciplinary action will be taken against the staff who was caught in the wrongdoing conduct with the government who is the employer of the staff involved will administer the penalties.

The 2018 PSLE results have recorded a slight improvement of 1.16% in the candidates awarded Credit Pass Grades A to C as compared to 2017. South East region continued its dominance with 83.98% record pass rate seconded by North East region with 83.39% and the least performing region being Ghanzi at 52.37% , a significant improvement from 46:30 % pass rate in the previous exam year.

The overall performance by gender results indicate that girls continue dominance over boys in four years, and for 2018 at subject level, females outperformed their male counterparts in all subjects.


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