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.”