The PLSE results released this week Monday present the same old story witnessed in the past 12 years.Since 2007 PLSE results have hovered around an average of 70 percent pass mark. The lowest percentage was registered in 2011 and 2012 at 64 and 65 percent respectively.
The year 2013 recorded 68 percent and there was one percent improvement for 2014, 2015 and 2016 which registered between 68 to70 percent. The year 2017 had 71.62 percent while 2018 is 72.82 percent.Although there has not been much improvement, education experts however, credit the primary school sub sector for doing better than junior certificate and BGCSE which have been described as worse off.
The experts argue that there should be more room for improvement. For a start, primary schools are not afflicted by the same problems that secondary schools are facing. An example is that discipline of learners at primary is not much of a problem as that of students at secondary level. Also drug taking is not an issue at primary level as the learners are much more disciplined and willing to take instruction from the teachers.
The results however mean that for the last decade primary schools have not moved any inch from the average percentage of 70 percent. This means that the Ministry of Education must do some soul searching to find out what else can be done to address the problem. It is significant that the same problems recur in which schools in the same locality register extremely varying results. This calls into the question the management of schools; what the learners are learning; the teachers are teaching and how well are they doing it.
Besides resource constrains such as lack of photo copiers, teachers are not able to administer scheduled tests, or grapple with shortage of teaching material. There is also a likelihood that the teachers’ morale is at its lowest ebb. Experts say this could be healed by introducing fresh ideas or minds or improving professional development to ensure that teachers raise the bar in the class room.
The results released by Botswana Examinations Council (BEC) shows that out of a total 46 432 candidates that sat for the examination, 8 941 obtained Grade A, while 8857 got Grade B, 15 963 obtained Grade C, and 9 094 and 3 501 got Grade D and E respectively. Only 29 obtained Grade U. The results indicate an improvement of 1.20 percent from the previous year in Grade C or better. According to BEC Executive Secretary, Professor Brian Mokopakgosi this is a significant improvement because it is an improvement in quality grades.