Form V results poor - Education Minister
MBABANE – Education and Training Minister Wilson Ntshangase is not at all happy about the overall percentage pass for the 2012 Form Five results which has increased by 0.78 per cent.
The overall percentage pass showed an increase even though the quality of results was poor, according to the minister. In 2011 an 87.32 per cent pass rate was recorded while last year it rose up to 88.1 per cent.
However, the 2011 results were regarded as the second best since 2007 and their quality was said to be better than last year’s quality. The results were released yesterday at the Cabinet offices. It had previously been reported that they would be released on Thursday.
Ntshangase said what mattered most was not the number of pupils who have passed but the way they have performed.
He said the poor quality was an indication that there were challenges faced by the education fraternity in the year 2012.
Among the challenges that the education department faced was a two-month strike action by teachers all over the country who demanded a 4.5 per cent salary adjustment from government.
The strike saw schools not being opened at the time when they were supposed to. Out of the 10 797 candidates who registered for the 2012 exams, 50.9 per cent were male while 49.09 per cent were female.
Over the past years none of the pupils managed to reach the landmark 10 per cent increase that was recorded in the 2010 Form Five results. A summary of the results, as released, stated that last year, about 1 420 (13.15 per cent) candidates got credit passes in five or more subjects including English Language while in 2011, 1 430 (13.92 per cent) candidates got credit passes in five or more subjects.
Making his remarks, Minister Ntshangase congratulated the schools that managed to do well despite the problems. He said parents were also to thank because of the support they gave to their children. "Schools that have not done well should find out what went wrong and try to do better next year. I would also like to thank teachers who worked hard in preparing the pupils for the examination," said Ntshangase.
The minister said markers also played a major role and ensured that the results were released on time. On the issue of poor quality results, Ntshangase attributed this to the two-month strike action by teachers called ‘Waya Waya’.
He said looking at the decline of quality in Form Three results and Form Five results; one could be tempted to say the strike contributed to the factor. "I believe teachers and pupils did not get enough time to prepare for the examinations," he said.
Financial problems didn’t deter top pupil
KASHOBA – Lomthandazo Dlamini, a former Mhlume High School pupil over-came all hurdles to become the country’s 2012 top pupil.
She obtained aggregate six in last year’s SGCSE/IGCSE examination despite that she would sometimes miss a class or two due to financial problems.
She also missed some classes during the teachers’ nationwide strike popularly known as ‘Waya-Waya’ that lasted for approximately two months.
Despite all these challenges, the 18-year-old Lomthandazo said she remained dedicated to her books.
"I had financial problems as I would be told to remind my parents about outstanding fees. As a result, I sometimes missed classes. However, our teachers were always willing to assist with the school work we missed while away. In a nutshell, my parents had a challenge in paying my school fees," she said.
Even during the ‘Waya-Waya’ strike, Lomthandazo said their teachers encouraged them to work harder.
That was one of the trying times she has ever experienced during her school days.
"While the teachers were on strike, I used the opportunity to study on my own and also with my friends. When I did not understand something, I approached my teachers who were always there to help," she said.
Besides being assisted by her willing teachers, Lomthandazo said she started studying early in the year. At the beginning of the year, Lomthandazo, who was in the company of relatives, said she drew up a study timetable which she stuck to religiously throughout.
Explaining her studying strategy, she said she first analysed her subjects, putting emphasises on the ones that were giving her problems.
"I then dedicated my time to those subjects which were giving me problems. I would study from 6pm to 9pm before retiring to bed. And I would recap in the morning from 3am to 5am," she said.
In addition, Lomthandazo said paying attention in class and also asking friends helped her a lot. She pointed out the social network frenzy did not bother her because she does not own a cellphone.
Asked about her social life, she stated that she was a member of her school’s Mathematics Club.