Thursday 2024-05-30




By PHEPHILE MOTAU | 2021-02-09

DESPITE writing their exams in unprecedented conditions, last year’s EGCSE candidates were determined to shine, and they did. The results which were released by the Minister of Education and Training Lady Howard-Mabuza yesterday are the second best since 2011, and they showed an improvement from 2019. The minister said the 2020 results overall pass rate was 92.92 per cent, which showed an increase of 0.28 per cent when compared to the 2019 overall pass rate of 92.63. This refers to the overall number of results which were graded G or better. On the other hand, the pass rate was 90.88 per cent, which is a decrease from last year’s 91.66 per cent. This measures the number of candidates who received Grade G or better, including English Language in four or more subjects. She further said candidates who credited their subjects in 2020 increased by 0.72 per cent, and the candidature decreased by 0.35 per cent. Howard said the number of candidates who sat for the EGCSE examination was 19 931, which showed a decrease of 0.35 per cent when compared with the 2019 candidates who were a total of 20 002. These included 9 493 males and 10 338 female candidates. The minister said there were 16 669 full-time candidates, and 3 268 were private. “The number of candidates who passed and scored A*-G in four or more subjects, including English was 90.89 per cent. The figure shows an increase of 0.77 per cent when compared with the 2019 pass rate which was 91.66 per cent,” the minister said. She added that 2 915 candidates passed with A* to C in five or more subjects, including English Language. Howard added that the 2020 candidates who scored A* to C in five or more subjects, including English Language showed an increase of 0.52 per cent when compared with 2019. Meanwhile, nine of the candidates had a joint first position with an aggregate of six. This means that these pupils received A* symbols in six subjects. Another 10 were in joint second position and they obtained aggregate seven. The minister said the 2020 candidature for the EGCSE examinations had a difficult year as schools were closed on March 17, 2020 and as a result, COVID-19 disrupted the final year for the pupils. She said the ministry then made arrangements for teaching to be done through radio, television and print media. “This effort was meant to ensure that during lockdown, the competing classes continued to learn through these channel,” Howard said. She said some schools and volunteer groups also conducted lessons through various forms of social media such as Google Classrooms The minister said the ministry opened schools on July 6, 2020 so that the competing classes could return to school for face to face teaching and learning under strict COVID-19 regulations. “This effort was meant to ensure that external examination classes did not lose in terms of syllabus coverage and were well prepared for the external examination.” She said exams were also postponed to make up for lost time and ensure that students completed their projects and coursework. She stated that in the case of EGCSE, this was made in consultation with Cambridge Assessment. The minister said the results were a product of effort made by different stakeholders who ensured that when schools opened, they adhered to the COVID-19 regulations and pupils were safe and prepared to sit for the examination. She added that the ministry also ensured that all COVID-19 regulations were followed during the conduct of examinations, the marking and all other processes that had culminated to the release of the results. She went on to thank the teachers who were called at short notice to prepare lessons and teach in various platforms. She further thanked management of institutions and headteachers for their efforts when schools opened in July 2020. “These results are a product of your good work.” Howard said. She then congratulated the class of 2020 and said they worked hard under very difficult circumstances. Howard thanked them for the dedication they showed to their schoolwork. She further commended parents for their support and the Examinations Council of Eswatini for ensuring that they delivered on their mandate even under difficult circumstances.

.....................St Mark’s High shines again

St Mark’s High School continues to shine in their results. In the 2020 EGCSE/IGCSE results released yesterday, the school recorded the highest number of top achieving pupils, which was a total of 19. These pupils recorded an aggregate of 11 or below. The school also had four pupils in the joint nine top candidates. The Head teacher of the school, Zanele Zwane was ecstatic when hearing the news. Zwane said the COVID-19 pandemic may have been a blessing in disguise for them. She said due to the regulations, they had to cut the number of pupils in each class to 20, so they could observe social distancing. She said this allowed teachers to give individual attention to the pupils. Zwane said they normally had bigger classes. She thanked the teachers, parents and the pupils in the support they all gave to ensure that the results were excellent. She said their secret to success was her hardworking and committed team, parents and pupils. Zwane said the pupils at the school were motivated and they dreamt big, as they were exposed, since the school was situated in town. Zwane said some students from rural areas might not have this exposure. Meanwhile, the results show that 81 candidates from 19 urban schools got an aggregate of 11 or better. Rural schools produced 48 high achievers from 27 schools and those in the semi-urban area produced seven high achievers from four schools. This is what some of the top pupils had to say: Siphatselwe Dlamini: I was shocked with the results as I was not expecting to pass. COVID-19 was really challenging. I obtained these results through studying and wanting to make my family proud. I have not decided on my next step, but I want to go into Economics in the future. Once I get to see the results, I will know which route to take. Ayandiswa Tsabedze: I am very excited. I am grateful to God, my family, teachers and friends. I want to do Actuarial Science, so I will decide whether I will do my A’Levels, or I will apply at university. God really helped me to achieve this. I was not giving much attention to COVID-19, but I was concentrating on my examinations. I would like to tell others who aspire to pass to stop procrastinating. Nokuphiwa Dlamini I am already doing my IB Diploma at Waterford KaMhlaba. I was not expecting the results. My teachers supported us, and they would call us for one-on-one sessions. I aspire to have two more degrees in Forensic or Actuarial Sciences or Artificial Intelligence. Adele Mamba I am still processing that I got position one. I knew I would pass, but not this much. I want to be a Chartered Accountant, and due to COVID-19, I will have to take the long route of doing my Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) and them take it from there. Mr Gama gave me so much support with schoolwork and he guided me in many things and I really appreciate him.

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