By Garikai Mafirakureva
Chiredzi South legislator Kalisto Gwanetsa last week called a meeting with all school heads in his constituency after it recorded poor results during the 2019 Grade 7, Ordinary Level and Advance Level Zimsec examinations.
Most of the schools performed dismally with some posting a 0% pass rate while others got 2% or 3%.
The meeting, held at Mhlanguleni Primary School, which was attended by all school heads, their deputies and school development committee (SDC) chairpersons, was meant to identify problems affecting schools and map the way forward.
Gwanetsa, however, maintained that no school in his constituency should record a 0% pass rate.
“I have called this meeting because I am not happy with last year’s results. I know things are difficult economically, but our results are pathetic. We have room to improve. We should be seen putting more effort to improve our pass rate.
“No school head should justify poor results because elsewhere schools are performing quite well,” he said.
The heads lamented lack of textbooks, under-staffing and a shortage of Shangani teachers as some of the challenges leading to poor performance.
Former Matabeleland North district schools inspector (DSI) Lackson Zanamwe, who hails from Chiredzi South, bemoaned the deteriorating educational standards.
“My heart bleeds when I compare the current results and yesteryear’s performance. Chiredzi South is now a pale shadow of itself. Gone are the days when we used to boast of pupils who did well from our area. During my time here as a teacher we produced the best, including the first Shangani doctor.
“The late Francis Majoko, who was a gynaecologist, passed through a school in our locality. As teachers, at times you have to improvise because it is obvious you are working with limited resources. I urge everyone here to go back and up the effort so that we can achieve our goal,” Zanamwe said.
Chiredzi district schools inspector Petronella Nyangwe, however, said the Primary and Secondary Education ministry was working closely with schools around the area to improve the pass rate.
She added that most teachers were not willing to work in Chiredzi because of various reasons, including weather and its geographical location, resulting in many seeking transfer, leading to a shortage of teachers.