ZIMSEC Results: Concerns Rise As More Than Half Of Grade 7 Pupils Fail


According to the Zimbabwe Schools Examinations Council (Zimsec), more than half of grade 7 pupils failed to pass their examinations. The pass rate for the 2023 Grade 7 examinations saw a slight improvement, with 45.57 per cent of learners successfully passing.

Zimsec board chairman, Prof Eddie Mwenje, announced on Friday that candidates can collect their results starting Monday. Results are also available online on the official exam body’s website.

Prof Mwenje highlighted that despite the pass rate remaining below 50 per cent, there was a notable increase from the 2022 figure of 40.09 per cent. The 2023 improvement of 5.48 per cent in candidates’ performance is attributed to the resumption of the normal school calendar after disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, various interventions by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, particularly in teaching and learning, played a significant role in this improvement.

The number of candidates who sat for the six mandatory subjects in 2023 increased to 372,603, a 7.89 per cent rise from 2022’s 343,169. Of these candidates, 193,520 were females, while 179,083 were males. The pass rate for female candidates stood at 49.56 per cent, surpassing the 41.21 per cent for male candidates.


Special Needs Candidates

A total of 357 special needs candidates took the exams in 2023, achieving an average pass rate of 42.99 per cent. This marks a significant improvement from the 29.8 percent pass rate in 2022 when there were 323 special needs candidates.

Challenges in Primary Education

Moses Mhike, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education secretary, acknowledged that the overall pass rate remains depressed. He attributed this to the fact that many learners reach Grade 2 without the ability to read and write.

“According to a survey we conducted, the majority of learners cannot read and write at Grade 2. They cannot comprehend simple and straightforward issues,” Mhike stated. “As a ministry, this is where we need to concentrate to ensure that learners are adequately prepared for Grade 7 examinations.”