ALVIN CHIINGA, Lusaka
THE number of pupils excelling in their primary school-leaving and junior secondary school examinations has increased with Government announcing that 340,791 candidates out of 387,263 who sat for Grade Seven examinations were selected for Grade Eight while 156,027 Grade Nine pupils have passed to Grade 10.
Minister of General Education Dennis Wanchinga said at a press briefing in Lusaka yesterday that the number of pupils selected to grade eight represents a progression rate to 96.64 percent from 90.05 percent last year.
He also said the selected number of pupils to grade 10 represents a progression rate of 49.07 percent from 48.89 per cent in 2015.
â€œMuchinga, Luapula, North-Western, Central and Western provinces recorded a 100 percent progression rates while the lowest progression rates were recorded in Northern Province at 89.97 percent for the grade seven examinations,â€ he said.
Dr Wanchinga said for the grade nine examinations, Western Province continued having the largest proportions of absenteeism at 17.60 percent in 2016 while Copperbelt Province continued to have the lowest proportions at 10.10 percent.
He said that a total of 387,263 candidates entered the 2016 grade seven composite examination of whom 196,033 were boys and 191,230 were girls representing a growth in candidature of 0.93 percent on the 383,676 candidates that entered for the similar examination in 2015.
Dr Wanchinga said that for the grade nine examinations, 365,272 entered the exams of whom 183,064 were boys and 182,208 were girls.
He said that for the grade nine examinations results, the proportion of candidates that obtained certificates increased from 48.21 percent in 2015 to 49.50 percent in 2016 while failure rates reduced from 5.26 percent in 2015 to 4.97 per cent in 2016.
Dr Wanchinga said a further analysis of the same examination results across all types of schools revealed that grant-aided schools were the best-performing followed by private schools.
He said despite 113 cases of suspected malpractices being recorded in the grade nine examinations, there were no reported cases of examination malpractices during the 2016 grade seven examination.
Dr Wanchinga said the opening day for grades eight and 10 learners will be January 16, 2017 together with all other learners.
He commended the staff at his ministry for releasing both the grade seven and nine examination results simultaneously for the first time in the history of the country.
ALVIN CHIINGA, Lusaka