Ray Bande Senior Reporter
MANICALAND Province’s bastion of primary education excellence, Chancellor Junior School continues to dominate the Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council’s Grade Seven examinations after it attained the highest number of candidates with five units nationwide for the fourth time on the trot.
Learners now sit for a total of five subjects including Agriculture in ZIMSEC Grade Seven exams unlike the four subjects that they used to sit for in the past. Agriculture was introduced as an examinable subject this year and this affected many schools’ performances. The 2017 results that were released early this week showed a gradual improvement for the province from last year, with Chancellor Primary having 39 learners attaining five units.
As Chancellor Junior continues to dominate the ZIMSEC Grade Seven examinations, fellow primary schools in Mutare District have also done well this year, with Mutare Junior having 28 pupils with five units, while Baring Primary has 22. Other notable performers from Mutare District include Mutare City Council-run schools, Murahwa Primary (16), Chikanga Primary (14), Dangamvura Primary (12) and Chirovakamwe (nine).
St Joseph’s Primary School in Makoni had 17 learners with five units, while former powerhouse, John Cowie had eight. Nyanga’s Mt Mellary Primary School had 13 learners with five units, while Hartzell Central Primary School had four. Manicaland Provincial Education Director, Mr Edward Shumba, congratulated Chancellor Junior for the achievement.
“I have not had a cursory look at the results since I am away in Harare, but I am reliably informed that they are highest once again and it shows that we are maintaining the standards as a province. We are yet to work out the average percentage pass-rate, but we hope that we have quite a number of schools with 100 percent pass-rates.
“As usual, I do not want to proffer a mono-causal approach because I believe there are a number of factors that contributed to it. The advent of our provincial merit awards has helped give direction to our schools in the province as well as hard work on the part of the teachers and their leadership in schools,” said Shumba.
Chancellor had 71 candidates with four units in 2015 and the following year they had 74. Chancellor Junior School headmaster, Mr Masimba Chihowa, attributed the success of his school to hard work and commitment on the part of the learners themselves, teachers and parents. Mr Chihowa said the numerous workshops being organised by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has also helped equip them with the requisite syllabus interpretation skills.
“I am very excited to have achieved such a feat. I would want to attribute it to commitment and hard work that was shown by learners themselves, parents and teachers. The parent ministry has helped us a lot through provision of refresher courses or workshops especially on syllabus interpretation.
“Over the years, the Performance Lag Address Programme has managed to change our results significantly. We really hope that we will continue to post good results. While on surface this might be viewed as an achievement for Chancellor, in real sense it is an achievement for the province,” he said.
Mutare District Schools Inspector, Mr Zechariah Chikwangwani, also congratulated Chancellor Junior School for the achievement.
“I am told that they have 39 pupils who sat for the ZIMSEC exams and got five units making them the highest nationwide. We are really excited about their achievement. It is no mean achievement and it should be a cause for celebration, not only for neither Chancellor nor the district alone, but the entire province,” said Mr Chikwangwani.