ZANU PF deputy director of information and publicity Psychology Maziwisa got more than he had bargained for when tried to heap all the blame on former Education minister David Coltart after another set of poor Ordinary Level examination results were released last week.
According to the Zimbabwe Schools Examinations Council (Zimsec), only 20,72% of the students who sat for the November 2013 examinations got five subjects or better.
The pass rate marginally rose by 2,32% compared to 18, 4% the previous year. Maziwisa concluded that it was Coltart’s fault that such dismal results were recorded because he was the minister when the exams were written.
However, a perusal of records that are available to all well-meaning Zimbabweans would show that this very analysis was very shallow.
The crisis in the education sector preceded the inclusive government that was formed in 2009 and Coltart is credited for reviving education in Zimbabwe. For starters, when the inclusive government was formed, public schools had collapsed after teachers abandoned their jobs en masse because the Zanu PF government had stopped trying to show that it cared about their welfare.
Examinations were not being marked and the previous year the credibility of the Zimsec results had become doubtful because teachers were no longer interested in marking them and there were reports soldiers had been roped in.
A perusal of the archives shows that as early as 2004 the pass rate had gone down to as low as less than 15% in 2004 and 2008.
During that time a Zanu PF minister was in charge of education.
There is no doubt that the collapse of the education system was engineered by Zanu PF and the party’s mandarins should take responsibility for their shortcomings. The 2013 “O” Level results released showed that only seven schools from the Matabeleland region were in the national top 100 and this is something that should raise alarm bells. The highest pass rate in the region was attained by John Tallach Secondary School in Ntabazinduna which was ranked fourth nationally with 96,15%.
St Columbus High School in Makokoba (33) with 80,84%, David Livingstone Secondary School in Ntabazinduna (64) with 67,31%, Usher Secondary School in Figtree (68) with 66,92%, Minda Secondary School in Matopo (70) with 64,95%, Mtshabezi Secondary School in Gwanda (79) with 61,11%, Thekwane High School in Plumtree (91) with 57,14% and Inyathi Secondary School in Inyathi (96) with 56,32%.
The top performing was Monte Casino Secondary in Macheke which recorded a 100% pass rate.
Instead of engaging in the usual blame game, its time regional leaders interrogated such statistics with the view of proffering solutions.