Bring Back Cut-Off Points At Grade 7, Demands NAQUEZ

The National Action for Quality Education in Zambia (NAQEZ) has demanded that the Ministry of General Education reintroduces the cut-off points at grade seven level.

NAQUEZ has also asked the Ministry of General Education to increase the pass mark for entry into grade 10 from the current 40 per cent to 50 per cent to improve academic competition among learners.

NAQUEZ executive director Aaron Chansa stated in a press statement that the organisation was opposed to a system that makes every candidate pass.

“As the nation awaits release of results of the 2019 National Examinations, National Action for Quality Education in Zambia (NAQEZ) is demanding that the Ministry of General Education reintroduces a system of cut off points at grade Seven (7) level. Like millions of Zambians, NAQEZ is totally opposed to examination system  which  allow all candidates to pass. Out of the 900 total marks at grade Seven (7), NAQEZ proposes that the cut- off point for grade Seven (7) candidates in Zambia must be 600 for both genders. This is despite  the fact that at both grades  Seven(7 )and  Nine(9) girls have been performing better than boys in recent years,” Chansa stated.

He also proposed an increase in pass mark at grade nine examination level to 50 per cent.

“To improve the quality of grade Ten (10) pupils in our Secondary schools, NAQEZ is proposing upward adjustment of the subject passing Mark from 40% to 50%. It is our considered view that the current grading system is too low( below average) and inimical to  academic competition among candidates. To avoid having an education system that only glorifies examinations at the expense of important life skills, we call on the Ministry of General Education to quickly make teaching of hands on and practical skills integral to  school life in the country. The Ministry should also make grade seven (7) as a departure point for  academically oriented learners and those gifted with various vocations,” Chansa stated. “The two tier system currently in our curriculum is excellent but just on paper. NAQEZ finds it extremely unfair for the Ministry to force pupils who are vocationally tailored to pursue an academic path. The vocational talents of these young people are being killed by not providing them with  enabling   environments which could mould them into useful and productive  adults. It is high time the Ministry considers this sterile  ‘one size fits all’ approach to education. To make sure that our educational foundations are strong, we strongly suggest that transitional tests be introduced from pre- school up to grade 6. Only academically suitable learners must be allowed to progress to the next grade. Using school based assessments, teachers must have the  discretion to prescribe who goes forward or not. The current policy of allowing everyone to go to higher grades even when they cannot read and write has killed the education system in Zambia.”


  1. Malambo c

    nice thinking

  2. Mwaba macco

    That’s very thoughtful of you sir.splendid indeed!

  3. Rich well

    That’s great for NAQEZ suggesting that.

  4. Curtis

    That’s a good idea for 50% is the average of 100%.How can 40% which is bellow average be a pass mark? Let’s emulate colleges for uniformity purposes.

  5. nyandule

    Nice move

  6. Mochido

    I 100% agree with you Mr Chansa!!! I think to my side,i can call you and your team, “Zambian great thinkers”(Zgt)….Hope the Ministry of General Education will validate the move suggested from you and your team.

  7. chuma

    Just because u hv finished skul and u hv started working…so now u want t make skul difficult for de new generation..u wen u wer at skul de passing mark was 40℅ and now u want our pass mark t increase t 50℅.this z not fair..thats the problem of Zambian guvment ,wen de number of civil servants has increased.and u cant afford t pay dem..so now u want t increase de pass mark..so dt pipo can stop skulling..some of u wen u wer at skul u never hd even 40℅,itx corruption wich as made u t be der u ar now….as youths we say to dt

    • LN

      Because of the current low cut points, the performance at higher levels, all the way to colleges and universities has also been greatly affected. To day we have exam oriented students who just study past exam papers and leakages instead of concentrating on grasping subject or courses contents. Those of us who did our university education years back when there was high competition to enter the university and are now lectures can tell the difference in the quality of the students now and then. Higher cut points will surely bring back quality education. Those who can not reach high cut points can go to skills institutions.

    • True son of my father

      I did not know there is no cut off point system at 7 and also that pass mark at grade 9 is now 40℅. When did this change and who the hell changed this and to achieve what? In our days cut off points at grade 7 was above 700 for boys and 650 for girls. The passing mark at grade 9 and 12 was 50℅ and above, 49℅ was a fail. Iam shocked, even when basic schools were introduced, by then i was in grade 11, the basic school cut off points was above 550marks, they never got everyone who wrote but with good marks. Nowander when i post money on airtel or MTN money, these kids can not even read the name of the recipient especially venacular names, they can not read a simple name like Yumbe, Nalucha, Mzimawe, Mundende, Mofya etc and these are grade twelves school leavers.

    • Nasha

      I agree with you man its not fair

  8. david

    just because you are done with school and your son they have finished school and you want us to stop going to school just because of you NAQEZ why should it be 50% percent normal che is 40% if you cant manage just risen risen

    • Mapalo

      What you are saying does not make sense David, we need quality education, I repeat myself “quality education”.

      • Monk

        You can tell that David is not receiving quality education from his English.If I may ask what grade are you David?
        What you David does not know is that raising the passing mark is to your advantage.Anyway it may be difficult for you to see now not until you face the industry world after school.

  9. Agripa

    This is the only sure way of improving the quality of Education. Let’s not compromise with Education. Each pupil will know that Education is a battle and one has to fight for it.

  10. Winfredah

    The move is welcome NAQEZ go ahead for you to come up with this it’s because you have seen the negative impact the current system has on our country which is yet to develop.its quality we need not quantity.

  11. LOGO


    • Mapalo

      Logo, just keep quiet and keep your unwise thinking to yourself and who told you that the president passed with a 40%, oh please!! He is a lawyer and lawyers are very intelligent.

      • mk

        Tell him. I think he’s a foreigner or he doesn’t have manners. We are talking about education he is talking about food, lack of reasoning.

      • Queen

        We demand to see your results first Mr Chansa

  12. Jimmy shaba

    Chuma during our days ,passing percentage was 50% and the word leakage never existed.
    So the proposal is timely and progressive

    • Mapalo

      That is a big lie!!!! The passing mark was never 50%. It has always been 40%.

  13. Kelly

    That’s a good idea, how do you expect learner’s to perform well at grade 9 if you are having children who can’t read and understand in 8?

  14. Smarte Decent Simate

    Ladies and gentlemen, in as much as we stick to the 40% pass mark just because we are who we are because of what the system was allowing, we should not forget that malpractice/ leakage was just a word we used to hear and not knowing what is involved. we all know what is currently on the ground. let us not pretend and defend what is letting our education system lose credibility. it is our duty to protect it. So the proposal is timely and progressive. Change is inevitable.
    we thank U NAQUEZ for the development and I just hope everything aired will land on listening ears. The ministry concerned, please lend an ear to such for the development of our country and protection of our education system.

  15. BLSimpamba

    Current cut off of points is just ok,because there are so many schools being built today.In the past some rural districts had only one secondary school which meant a pupil must posses agood pass marks to preceed to the next grades 8&10.At present time where at no time you thought a school could be built today there is.Poor results obtained by some pupils in grades 9&10 are leackages fabricated by rich people in our society.

  16. ben

    Just because u done with skul dont mean you have to make to make it hard for the others and you JIMMY SHABA leakage has always been their ok.

  17. BLSimpamba

    Current cut off of points is just ok,because there are so many schools being built today.In the past some rural districts had only one secondary school which meant a pupil must posses agood pass marks to preceed to the next grades 8&10.At present time where at no time you thought a school could be built today there is.Poor results obtained by some pupils in grades 9&10 are leackages fabricated by rich people in our society.
    Even to grade12& to tertiary institution leackages are being utilised Don’t change.

  18. Bobic

    The cutt point is just alright! Don’t change things because u ar on another level of life…

  19. mwila fredrick

    good idea Mr chansa we need people like u in the education system.

  20. Maano

    A Very Good way of avoiding Quantity education. The Nation needs Quality education if it has to develop its capacities for production! Not everybody body requires academic or professional qualifications. Life Skills are sufficient for some people. Not everyone is academically talented! Only the cream should be good enough for university education degrees. The Nation needs technologists, licentiates, Technicians, Artisans, craftsmen, bricklayers, plumbers, general -workers, farm-workers and all. We need all layers of skills – not only university degrees, even for dunderheads!

  21. nshilimubemba

    What is the benefit of cutting off children from basic education, allow these Young Minds to have opportunities of learning at least at some level than keep them in blindness.
    I would like the government to have every Zambian learn to read and to go on internet so they can be informed of what is happening in the wide world

  22. Jackson nswana

    I wrote my gce examination on 30july2019but have not received my results

  23. Gerald Ngwira

    it’s sad to teach a class has very few grade 8 and 9 able to read fluently. even harder to make them grasp material you present at their level. yes, raise up the cutoff point. Ya Kaunda was clear. capables were found on next level. you meet as equals and compete violently.

  24. AZ

    Nice thinking

  25. AZ

    Y must someone who doesn’t even know how to read and write properly progress to the next level of learning.. Its very unfair to the academic level…

  26. Fortune lucky

    It’s gud idea

  27. Central power

    So as to make the Zambian music industry to grow…..grade 7 ati ninebo musician….9 and 12 as well.good idea to PS study hard and reading with clear understanding

  28. Amon

    Mr chansa can you please show us your grade nine results let see if you have have 40% don’t make things to be difficult for others just because you are working. Foolish pf

  29. jailor

    Comment ala mwi esha nokukokola ifi shapasa bwino fyalingila na incito nabapasa balecula aluleni bwagu ifintu from 40% to 50% cut of point pakuti banasheko ukupair babeko serious with academic work

  30. BLSimpamba

    To begin with every thing is in the opposite good to bad.Those with high pass mark today are pupils using leackages,with low marks are pupils utilising their God given knowledge.To have quality education is only to find ways of ending this bad vice of malpractice that’s all.

  31. Victor

    This is great thinking,the cut off point used to make us work hard unlike the current scenario where by nefikopo fyonse kupasa.

  32. Moses phiri

    This is a good plan but not a good move. Just like my friend said earlier, you think education is very easy at grade 7 because you’re now old and intellectual enough to think. When you were in grade seven you possibily went through the same hell grade 7 pupils go through to pass now. And have you thought of the quality of education in rular areas? Do you really think your idea will encourage villagers to start school? Mister, I’ve lived in a village before and seen people dropping out of school for failing simple exam. English was Russian to me and I think even to my friends there. When you think of making changes to the Zambian Education system next time try to have empathy. Education isn’t as simple as you think at grade 7. If your aim is for people to be failing then you are a monster . Can’t you see the seggregation education has already brought?

  33. Albert

    Dnt forget that their wasn’t leakage so this people doesn’t deserve to be punished
    asfor the grade 9 English paper 1 wasn’t fair at all and then they are are suggesting an increament
    not good

  34. MONKEY

    no leackage then u want to increase ma pass mark why not taking that move nxt year when they will be leackage

  35. Shums

    If they want to scrap off the cutting point at grade seven level,it is now not normal for the pupils to start writing the examination which is not useful to them and also for the examination council

    • Cosmas

      That’s awesome thinking sir, let’s hope the ministry of general education should quickly respond positively to the suggestion brought in.



  37. Gift

    Ata……no leakage,load shedding,lack of notes,unfair exam and you are that the passing mark should move from 40% to 50% mwana ifyo fya next year

  38. John tembo

    Its better be next year not now

  39. Mubita Mubita kalumbilo.

    Great Thinking #NAQEZ.Thatx True.

  40. david

    mr chansa ,back in the day when you wrote your examination the passing mark was at 40 percent why do u want to increase our passing mark to 50 percent this will be a punishment to us because we wrote under a week without leakage and massive loadshedding which caused us not to study properly,or maybe you don’t have kids who wrote the grade 9 examination to understand the punishment we went through.GFU

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