GOVERNMENT has said candidates who excelled in the 2019 public examinations with flying colours did so on merit as there was no tampering with the country’s public examination grading system.
In an interview, Primary and Secondary Education Deputy Minister Edgar Moyo said instead of being criticised, excelling candidates should be applauded for doing well and credit must be given to their teachers.
The Deputy Minister’s statement comes a week after former deputy Prime Minister Professor Arthur Mutambara sparked debate over a “high number” of candidates scoring 15 points and above at Advanced Level.
Prof Mutambara felt there were just too many candidates passing with As making it difficult to sell them to international universities for scholarships.
His statement sparked debate resulting in mixed reactions on social media platforms as some people supported him while others opposed him.
Deputy Minister Moyo said there is nothing amiss with candidates excelling in their studies.
“Our results are fair, credible and follow laid standards. I don’t understand what that really meant because there is a grading system which we use. The results reflect the performance of the candidates. If you follow normal distribution of intelligence you will realise that they are within that domain,” he said.
“If he was suggesting that candidates are given free marks to make them appear as if they are intelligent, I don’t think so. Our systems do not do that. As a ministry we know that our results are good as they are and we should be applauding teachers for having produced quality of that nature.”
Deputy Minister Moyo said when enrolling pupils for Advanced Level, high performing schools tend to select learners who would have done exceptionally well at Ordinary Level.
“After all, when it comes to Advanced Level, schools make their proofing systems before accepting pupils, meaning schools accept pupils who would have done well at Ordinary Level. So, there is competition to harness excellent learners by schools as pupils go for A-Level. Actually, it would have been a big surprise if those learners performed badly while having good results at Ordinary level,” he said.
Deputy Minister Moyo said members of the public should be raising concerns when learners fail as opposed to when they do well.
Government has zero tolerance to examination malpractice.