A TOTAL of 63,104 out of 104,809 pupils who sat for the 2013 Grade 12 examinations have passed with Education Minister John Phiri describing the results as generally poor.
The 2013 results indicate a 60.21 per cent increase from the 58.08 per cent recorded in the 2012 examinations in which 60,319 out of the 103,853 candidates who participated passed.
Announcing the results in Lusaka yesterday, Dr Phiri said 39,926 pupils got General Certificates of Education (GCE).
He said 1,779 pupils failed the examinations while 2,147 out of the 106,956 candidates who entered for the examination were absent.
Dr Phiri observed that even if the pass rate had marginally increased, the results were generally poor.
“I, therefore, wish to state that although we acknowledge the marginal improvement in performance of candidates in 2013 as compared to 2012, the results are generally poor,” he said.
Dr Phiri said Muchinga Province recorded the highest proportion of candidates obtaining School Certificates at 69.16 per cent followed by Southern Province at 64.47 per cent.
Eastern and Lusaka provinces were at 64.25 per cent and 61.59 per cent, respectively.
Luapula and Western provinces recorded the lowest proportions of candidates who obtained School Certificates at 51.19 per cent and 53.02 per cent, respectively.
Higher failure rates above two per cent were recorded in Western, Central, Luapula and Northern provinces while lower failure rates less than two per cent were in Muchinga,
Southern, Eastern and Lusaka provinces.
Dr Phiri said only Northern and Western provinces showed an increase in failure rates from 2012 to 2013 while the rest of the provinces showed a reduction.
The largest reduction in failure rates were in North-Western Province from 3.73 per cent in 2012 to 1.73 per cent last year.
Dr Phiri further said that an analysis of the 2013 Grade 12 results indicated that girls performed better than boys in English, Geography and Principles of Accounts.
The boys, however, performed better in all the other subjects and their overall performance was significantly better.
Generally, Dr Phiri said, candidates from urban schools slightly performed better than those from rural schools, although those from rural schools performed better in all Zambian languages, Fashion and Fabrics, Physics, and Chemistry.
He said from the total 386 schools which registered candidates for the 2013 examinations, grant-aided schools (69) had the highest mean raw scores followed by private schools (69).
Government schools, at 247, were third and the only community school in Kitwe had the least performance.
An analysis of ages for internal candidates who sat for the examination revealed that candidates aged 16 and below performed better than all other age groups, followed by those aged 17 to 18.
The candidates aged 19 and above recorded the least performance in English, Mathematics, Science and Biology.
On examination malpractices, Dr Phiri said 421 cases were reported, representing 0.40 per cent of candidates who wrote the examinations.
He said the majority of the candidates who took part in examination malpractices were GCE candidates, and that 245 of the culprits were immediately expelled from the entire examinations.
Dr Phiri also announced that the Examinations Council of Zambia had developed the SMS results release system which would allow for the access of examination results through mobile phones.
Times of Zambia