The Zambia National Union of Teachers (ZNUT) has described the better performance of girls than boys in last year’s grade seven final examinations as encouraging.

ZNUT Deputy General Secretary, Newman Bubala, told ZANIS in an interview today that the excelling of girls over boys was an indication that government programmes to promote girl-child education was paying off.

Mr. Bubala said the union was happy that the government programmes which aim at promoting girl-child education are bearing fruits.

He however cautioned that government should not neglect the boy-child as it promoted the advancement of girl-child education in the country.

He said the gender equity programmes should balance treatment between boys and girls without any one of the two sexes suffering a disadvantage.

“It is encouraging that the girls have done better than boys this time around. This is as a result of the old programmes which government has been promoting to support girls,” he said.

Mr. Bubala has meanwhile asked government to consider the plight of girl children at higher levels of secondary school education where competition is stiffer.

He said much as the country is celebrating the good performance of girls at grade seven level, measures for them to excel at grades nine and twelve levels should be put in place so that only a few of them fail.

Yesterday, government announced that a total of 174,173 pupils that sat for the grade seven examinations last year have been selected to grade eight, most of whom are girls.

Over 88,000 girls passed to enter grade eight while only 85,842 boys qualified.

He observed that currently, not much was being done to ease the entry of girl-children into grade ten.

The ZNUT Deputy General Secretary further urged government to provide necessary education materials in all secondary and high schools around the country so that the achievement scored in the education sector was sustained.

Mr. Bubala also attributed the pass-rate to the dedication of teachers to duty despite the hard environment.

He has since urged government to motivate teachers in the year 2008 so that the education system could continue improving in the country.

He also commended government for being up to date in settling housing allowances for teachers, but called for an increase of the same.

Mr. Bubala urged teachers around the country to continue working hard, saying the union had already started negotiations for improved conditions of service for this year.

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