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Urgent need for radical changes in the education sector
Students Solidarity Trust
February 22, 2013

The SST notes with deep concern that the Zimsec November O' Level results released recently indicated that the pass rate had dropped from 19.5 to 18.4%.

The Zimbabwe School Examination Council (ZIMSEC) has announced that 172 698 pupils sat for the November/December Ordinary Level examinations and only 31 767 pupils got passes in five subjects or more. In the wake of these pathetic results there have been a lot of finger pointing, blame shifting and insufficient explanations as to why we ended up with such a pass rate. The Minister of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture, Sen. David Coltart acknowledged that the drop in the pass rate is a clear indication that much still needs to be done in the education sector but however attributed the poor results to the crisis that beset the education sector before the formation of the GNU. Some experts have suggested the setting up of a commission of enquiry to investigate the problems affecting the education sector.

Since 2006 the Student Solidarity Trust has been compiling annual reports titled "Inside the Pandora's Box; State of the Education Sector Report in Zimbabwe," to highlight the challenges being faced in the education sector. The publication has been used as a lobbying and advocacy tool to various stakeholders with the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Education as a key stakeholder.

The SST maintains that before we can entertain suggestions of coming up with another commission of enquiry let us implement fully recommendations suggested by the Nziramasanga Commission (1999) on education, as well as recommendations coming from researches that have been done in the sector before. Let us strive to be efficient in implementing such recommendations rather than showing commitment and consistency in finding out the problems through commissions of enquiry and research. This is the time for all who are progressive in the education sector to bring their heads together and avoid burying the heads in sand in typical ostrich problem solving mentality, to attend to our education empire which is burning.

The November/December Ordinary Level results show that the Zimbabwe education sector is engulfed in an inferno and only radical changes within the sector will help put out the fire. And of course this problem can never be solved by using the same level of thinking that created it.

Last but not least the SST wishes to remind the Minister of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture that soon it will be November again and more than 172 698 pupils will be sitting for the examinations and the results will be testimony of what your ministry would have done to attend to the challenges crippling the education sector. The nation will not continue to tolerate further drops in the pass rate.

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