GOVERNMENT and Catholic-run primary schools in Manicaland have delivered another year of outstanding results in Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) Grade Seven results, achieving top grades that make thousands of their candidates eligible to enrol at best high schools in the country.
Thousands of candidates passed with flying colours in Mathematics, English Language, Indigenous Language, Agriculture, Science and Technology and ICT; Social Sciences and Physical Education and Arts, benchmarking them for advancement to high school.
Obtaining a high score at Grade Seven paves the way for easy admission in the best high schools, most of which have already set their cut-offs at eight units, as they stampede for the best brains.
Former Group A schools and mission schools in the province were led by Mutare Junior, which had 90 candidates with six units.
The school had 438 candidates, and authorities were still compiling statistics for those with seven, eight and nine units at the time of going to print.
In 2022, Mutare Junior had 54 six pointers.
Baring Primary School, which had 234 candidates that sat for Grade Seven exams this year, had 65 six pointers; 30 candidates with seven units; 27 with eight units; and 16 with nine units.
Only one candidate failed, giving the school a 99.12 percent pass-rate.
Roman Catholic-run Mt Mellerary Primary School which had 165 candidates this year, had 104 scoring grades between six and nine units.
The Nyanga-based mission school had 50 candidates with six units, 25 with seven units, 21 with eight units and eight with nine units.
The school had a 100 percent pass rate.
Chancellor Junior School was among top performers, with 145 out of the 304 candidates who sat for the Grade Seven exams scoring between six and nine units.
It had 48 six pointers; 55 candidates with seven units, 25 with eight units and 14 with nine units.
Only two candidates failed, giving the school a 99.98 percent pass rate.
John Cowie Primary School, of Rusape had a total of 100 out of 203 candidates scoring between six and nine units.
It had 45 six pointers; 30 candidates with seven units, 11 with eight units and 14 with nine units.
St Joseph’s Primary School, also of Rusape, with 240 candidates had 43 six pointers; 22 candidates with seven units, 11 with eight units and 20 with nine units.
Only three candidates failed, giving the Catholic-run school that blends urban and rural-based candidates a 98.9 percent pass-rate.
Its sister school, St Joseph’s Primary of Mutare had 31 candidates with six units, followed by 3 Brigade and Chirovakamwe primary schools that were tied on 25 candidates apiece with six units.
Another Catholic-run school, St Jude’s of Nyazura made it into the top 10 with 23 candidates with six units.
Manicaland Provincial Education Director (PED), Mr Edward Shumba congratulated the top-performing schools, while challenging underachievers to draw lessons from their counterparts’ scripts.
“A preliminary synopsis of the results shows that schools in Manicaland came up very well, and I would like to congratulate parents, teachers, candidates, school authorities and communities of those schools for a job well done.
Those who failed to make it should pull up their socks and learn from the best. They should cross-pollinate ideas with those known for achieving brilliant results.
“I would like to assure parents that their children can do well wherever they are. It is no longer an issue of being at a boarding school or not and with the requisite resources and tools,they can still excel. Parents should pay school fees and render all the necessary support to make the learning and teaching environment conducive. Schools that do well are those whose parents pay fees and levies on time,” said Mr Shumba.
Manicaland has 886 primary schools,most of which were still compiling their statistics for submission to districts and then to the provincial offices in order to come up with a provincial pass-rate and establish those with zero percent pass-rates.
Mutare Junior head, Mr Muzi Chishiri said great schools have strong, dynamic and dedicated leaders with a clear vision of what they plan to accomplishand a strategy, experience and acumen to execute and actualise that vision.
He disputed public assertions that his school has a high number of external learners, insisting that learners only flourish under the guidance of strong leadership.
“I have an enrolment of 2 900 learners, out of which we had 439 Grade Seven candidates. At the end of the day, I monitor and supervise everything. The CALAs are being done here. When things go bad, what happens? They criticise when they fail to beat us? This is the case with any other school.
“Mutare Junior leverages oh hard work, dedication to duty and a clear and shared vision, high standards and expectations for all students, frequent monitoring of learning and teaching a supportive learning environment as well as intrinsic and extrinsic motivation of teachers,” said Mr Chishiri.
Chancellor head, Mr Masimba Chihowa said teachers now have a better understanding of the revised curriculum, and the school expects better results going forward.
He said the CALA component, which has 30 marks, has taken the bigger chunk of the marks that could have posed challenges to learners.