MORE than 1,900 pupils absconded the 2018 School certificate (grade 12) examination says Minister of General Education David Mabumba. Releasing the 2018 grade 12 examinations results yesterday, Mabumba said 63 per cent of the pupils that sat the examination had passed.
He, however, said the number of candidates had reduced compared to the 2017 examination session.
“The total number of candidates who entered for the 2018 Grade 12 examination was 121,299, of whom 64,202 (52.93 per cent) were boys and 57,097 (47.07 per cent) were girls. This represents a decrease in candidature by 10.03 percentage points from 2017,” Mabumba said.
“The number of boys entering the examination decreased by 12.35 per cent while that of girls increased by 7.26 per cent. Of the 121,299 who entered the examination, 119,383 sat the examination comprising 63,172 boys and 56,211 girls.”
Mabumba said more boys had absconded the examination than girls with North Western Province recording the highest number of pupils absconding the examination.
“The total number of candidates who were absent from the examination was 1,916, of whom 1,030 were boys and 886 girls. Candidate absenteeism from examination at Grade 12 level marginally increased by 0.11 percentage points from 1.47 per cent in 2017 to 1.58 per cent in 2018,” he said.
“The highest proportion of candidates absent was recorded in North Western Province at 2.25 per cent from 1.90 per cent in 2017 while the lowest rate was recorded in Eastern Province at 1.14 per cent.”
Mabumba added that the number of candidates who passed the examination reduced when compared to the 2017 performance and that more boys passed compared to girls in percentage terms.
“The proportion of candidates who obtained school certificates in the 2018 examination session decreased by 1.40 percentage points from 64.84 per cent in 2017 to 63.44 per cent in 2018. This decrease in performance may be attributed to various factors. One of such factors could have been the suspension of the conduct of the examinations,” Mabumba said.
“Further analysis on the performance of candidates reveals that the proportion of boys who obtained school certificates was higher (65.14 per cent) than that of girls which was 61.53 per cent. In view of the above, there is need to intensify holding of annual examinations performance review meetings at national, provincial and district levels.”
Mabumba added that very few pupils impressed in Silozi but more passed Mathematics, English, Biology and Science.
“Performance according to subjects is as follows: the highest mean percentage was recorded in Silozi (55.51 per cent), while the lowest mean percentage was recorded in Literature in English (21.78 per cent),” Mabumba said.
“Comparison of performance in four (4) common subjects namely; English, Mathematics, Biology and Science, showed that the highest proportion of candidates obtaining distinction was in Mathematics (10.46 per cent), followed by English Language (8.80 per cent), Biology (7.37 per cent) and Science (5.93 per cent).”
However, over 40 per cent of candidates failed to impress in Commerce and Mathematics hence making them the two most challenging subjects of the examination session.
“Mathematics also recorded the largest proportion of candidates failing the examination at 41.89 per cent. Performance in the Social Science and Business Studies subjects group, which include Civic Education, Christian Religious Education (Syllabi 2044 and 2046), History, Geography, Commerce and Principles of Accounts showed that the highest proportion of candidates obtaining distinctions was in Religious Education syllabus 2044 at 14.33 per cent, followed by Religious Education syllabus 2046 at 11.63 per cent and Civic Education at 8.37 per cent,” Mabumba said.
“Commerce had the largest proportion of candidates failing (43.13 per cent). Candidate performance in Practical Subjects showed that the highest proportion of candidates obtaining distinctions was in Design and Technology (13.86 per cent), followed by Physical Education (12.46 per cent) and Musical Arts Education (12.33 per cent).”
He added that candidates performed better in practical subjects unlike theory.
Mabumba further said candidates from national technical schools performed better in Mathematics, Biology, Science and English than candidates from all other types of schools while girls in grant aided and technical schools out performed boys from other schools.
“In addition, the number of schools recording 100 per cent passes decreased from seventy-three (73) schools in 2017 to seventy (70) schools in 2018. The 70 schools included Grand Aided, Public (GRZ) and Private Schools in all 10 provinces of the country. It is also worth noting that a good number (13) of ordinary government schools recorded 100 per cent school certificate pass,” he said.
He added that newly upgraded schools performed better than other schools in local languages.
“Generally, performance in upgraded schools was comparable to other ordinary secondary schools that have existed for some time. Performance was better in upgraded schools than in other schools types in Zambian languages of Luvale, Icibemba, Cinyanja and Silozi,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mabumba announced extension of the deadline for registration for examination candidates for the 2019 session to Thursday, January 31 2019.
“The closing date for the Grade 9 External and the General Certificate of Education (G.C.E) Examinations remains Thursday, January 31st, 2019,” he said.
“During the conduct of the 2018 Grade 12 Examination, a total of Seventy seven (77) suspected cases of examination malpractice were reported compared to the 217 cases reported in 2017. The cases were in form of smuggling unauthorised materials into the examination room, assistance, prior knowledge, impersonation and copying.”
He, however, tipped members of the public to access their results electronically.
The 2018 grade 12 examination was interrupted together with the grade 7 and 9 examinations for 2 weeks following the leaking of a Mathematics Paper 2 and other 5 question papers for the 2018 Grade 9 examination.