Poor performance of Mat schools, a national concern

A serious national discussion is needed to understand the continued poor performance of schools in Matabeleland, a legislator has said.

This is after only a few schools from the region made the list of top performers in the 2022 Ordinary Level examinations.

The country achieved a 28 percent,  a 2.62 percent pass rate increase from a 26.34 percent pass rate achieved in 2021.

Out of the 278 760 candidates who sat for the exams, only 53 169 passed with at least five subjects.

However, the 28 percent national pass rate, according to Kambuzuma MP Willias Madzimure, is not ideal, whose implications are wide-ranging, requiring serious discussion at all levels.

He identified Matabeleland as having only three schools on the list of the top 100 performing schools, indicating inadequate learning conditions for students.

“On education, when looking at the 28 pass rate, this is not ideal and people are deceiving themselves.  On the list of 100 best-performing schools, there are only three schools which excelled in Matabeleland.  What are we doing? We were supposed to set targets for our education,” he said while discussing the president’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) in Parliament on Thursday.

Madzimure said “it was not an accident” that the intake of students at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) was dominated by people from other provinces.

“It starts from the low pass rate in that area.  How can they be enrolled at NUST with two or three points? This starts at O’ level.  The pass rate in Matabeleland is not pleasing and there is no plan to remedy that as far as SONA is concerned,” he said.

“I do not think those who advise the President told him about the state of affairs.  You can build Gwanda Polytechnic but you will find that the lecturers and students who are dominating are from other provinces.”

Local students are not represented in these colleges, according to the legislator, because the state of education in Matabeleland is not considered.

“Those from Matabeleland are not found in these colleges because we are not looking at their education. These are the issues that I believe were supposed to be addressed,” Madzimure said.

“We have students who are attending lessons under a tree. We still have four to five teachers who live in the same house with four rooms. Some Honourable Members here present were supporting this but some have schools that are thatched 43 years after independence. That is not ideal.”

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