Southern Province Minister Edify Hamukale says he is impressed with the 2018 Grade 12 results in which Southern Province emerged the best with a 75.4 percent pass rate.
Dr Hamukale said the province is proud to be the best in the country and had recorded an improvement from the previous 71 percent pass rate on a year to year comparison.
He attributed the good performance of the pupils to an increase in boarding schools, as this helped learners devote ample time to studying.
Speaking during a briefing in Livingstone on Tuesday, Dr Hamukale said the District Education Board Secretaries (DEBS) offices and teachers were also instrumental in the achievement of exceptional results by the learners.
“Furthermore, the teacher to pupil ratio improved after recruitment of more teachers. With more teachers and boarding schools, I strongly believe our pass rate as a province may even go to 80 percent,” he said.
And Dr Hamukale noted that Southern Province has a historic reputation of recording high pass marks adding that, learners have no choice but to work hard.
He commended private schools for supplementing government efforts but urged them to provide quality education instead of just helping those who failed or scored lower marks.
Meanwhile, the provincial minister noted that Southern Province recorded one of the lowest rates of teenage pregnancies.
“This is due to the increase in boarding schools. With boarding schools, teachers are able to monitor learners’ movements. In future we’ll have every justification to build more boarding schools because the results are clear for all to see,” he said.
Dr Hamukale however, said there is need to investigate why pass rates at grade seven and 12 level in Southern Province were usually higher than at grade nine level.
“The same pupils who do well in grade seven, underperform in Grade nine but produce outstanding results in Grade 12, why? We need to investigate this thoroughly,” he said.
Southern Province emerged the best with a 75.4 percent pass rate at Grade 12 level in the 2018 General Certificate Examinations followed by Lusaka Province with 72.7 percent.
Copperbelt Province had 70.5 percent, Eastern 65.3 percent, Western 64.9 percent, Northern 63.6 percent, Muchinga 60.6 percent, Central 58 percent, North-Western 57.7 percent and Luapula Province had 57 percent.