Editor's Comment

Learners must pull up socks

LATEST Grade 12 results showing that more than 4,000 candidates out of 147,000 who sat for examinations last year failed to obtain school certificates are a source of concern.
What makes the situation even more worrying is that the story is almost similar to 2019 when 3,114 out of 134,821 pupils performed below the school certificate requirement.
Minister of General Education Dennis Wanchinga, like the Examinations Council of Zambia (ECZ), is worried that some pupils might have absconded examinations.
Factors that have led to such poor performance could be many, but suffice to say that the onus rests on the pupil as an individual.
It is the pupils themselves whose future depends on the level of academic qualification obtained.
As the adage coined back in the days says: “suffer the present to enjoy the future.” It was a loose motivation to encourage learners to put extra efforts in their studies.
It is the same philosophy that compelled learners to abstain from leisure that would distract them from school today and concentrate on working hard for pleasure tomorrow.
Some teacher unions have attributed the low pass rate to coronavirus, stating that from March last year, pupils only went back to school in July.
They argue further that even when schools opened, pupils were not being taught full-time making it difficult to catch up on lost time.
Much as we can blame the coronavirus pandemic for having affected the school calendar some pupils relaxed.
This is so because once out of schools, some learners kept themselves away from books as well.
the trend that showed Southern Province maintaining top pass rate at 70.4 percent and Lusaka dropping from second in 2019 to sixth last year at 62 percent confirms laxity in urban areas.
While learners in rural southern part of Zambia had less to disturb them, some in Lusaka took to partying as they were seen swarming shopping malls every weekend.
If the increased failure rate has made Government to consider introducing education system reform programmes to address inadequacies, well and good.
While that move is welcome, we also remember the fact that school revolves around a triangle consisting of pupil, teacher and parent.
As much as teachers are mandated to inculcate knowledge in the pupil, parents, too, have a role to play.
Like scholars have said in the past, that parents are teachers too, their support in this endeavour is most desired.
Same applies to the pupils who are required to rise to the occasion by taking advantage of teachers and parents input in their future.
After all, they say that one can take a horse to the river, but can’t force it to drink water; only when the pupil is assertive will the equation be complete.
We are aware that the ministry came up with an innovation that afforded learners access to lessons online as e-learning which they should have relied on.
On the other hand, Ministry of General Education Permanent Secretary for Technical Services Jobbicks Kalumba is right to commend ECZ for conducting leakages-free examinations for two consecutive years.
Maybe tightening the examination leakage plug could still be another reason for the last two years.
We say so because since ECZ sealed the leaking holes that pre-exposed examination papers to candidates, results have deteriorated.
Going forward, and whatever resolutions stakeholders will come up with, let the pupil take school with personal effort.

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