Zimbabwe: Call to Improve Sciences Pass Rate

22 January 2020

Most schools require better facilities and more teaching resources if pass rates in science and technology subjects are to improve, a necessary condition for accelerating economic growth.

Those in the education sector said the poor pass rate of 31,6 percent in Science subjects at A-Level in the Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (Zimsec) November 2019 examinations.

During the session, 17 749 students sat for Biology, Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry, but only 5 610 passed.

Zimbabwe Teachers' Association (Zimta) chief executive officer Mr Sibusiso Ndlovu yesterday said Government should scale up provision of essentials needed in the teaching of science subjects to ensure high pass rates.

He said some schools had failed to deliver good quality education because they lacked enough and well-equipped science laboratories, other resources for teaching and the welfare of teachers.

"That is the important area that we should address," said Mr Ndlovu.

An ICT and computer science expert, Mr Canaan Gatsi, said Government should look at means of raising the pass rate of science subjects at all levels.

"It is, therefore, important for our country to come up with practical mechanisms aimed at promoting a good Science and Mathematics pass rate right from primary school up to the highest level," he said.

"For that to happen, there is need for qualified teaching staff in those disciplines coupled with adequate resources."

Zimsec board chair Professor Eddie Mwenje said his board was equally concerned by the low pass rate in Science subjects.

"The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education needs to closely look into this area," he said. "There could be a number of factors which need further interrogation that could be contributing to poor performance in Science subjects."

Prof Mwenje said Science subjects required a lot of input and equipment, which most schools did not have.

In 2015, Government introduced the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) oriented curriculum aimed at fast-tracking industrialisation.

STEM, together with innovation and entrepreneurship skills, helps reduce unemployment, boost the industrialisation of the economy and empower youths through the promotion of science and innovation.

Science and technology have become the main sources of economic development across the world in recent times.

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