By Ackel Zwane | 2018-01-13
An analysis of non-discriminatory schools that admit large numbers of pupils irrespective of previous poor performances in junior grades have proven to perform competitively well in secondary school external examinations for 2017.
Educationist Trevor Simelane says despite all odds schools around the Manzini region such as Hillside Labotsibeni High, St Paul’s, St Michael’s, Manzini Central and Manzini Nazarene have stood the test of time even though their policies are non-discriminatory and take in applicants as they come.
“If you go to some schools like Mhlatane, St. Paul’s, Manzini Central, Hillside when schools open you will find 70 per cent third class passes in Forms One and Four. The ministry and ministers know this open secret but turn a blind eye, no admonition policy by the ministry.”
Simelane adds that hard working educators who stretch their limits as far as breaking their backs conducting extra classes on Saturdays, before and after school, administrators who engage stakeholders, planning and implementing policies, help change the educational landscape with limited resources to a learning environment, instilling of the culture of learning amongst learners from different backgrounds.
“The question is what do you call the practice carried out by certain well known schools that admit merits and first passes whilst second class passes are not recognised or negotiable. Why is the ministry turning a blind eye to this? As this has turned to a culture and policy for the administration in these selected schools, come results time they put up a good performance and the schools that admit 70 per cent thirds with no first nor merits are persecuted”.
He says interestingly what can happen to those schools if they admit 70 per cent thirds and vice versa ‘your guess is as good as mine’.
“It is common knowledge to educators that there are different levels of learning capabilities amongst learners but seemingly this area has only been left for lecturers to handle in principle and ignored in practice by mandating certain schools for their different levels of learning capabilities, the likes of Waterford.”
For one, Lozitha High School registered 140 pupils for the Junior Certificate Examinations and managed a single merit, 16 first class passes, 84 second class passes, 23 thirds and only 16 failures. Manzini Central had had 125 sitting with 23 obtaining merit passes while first classes stood at an impressive 34 with 107 second class passes, 10 thirds and only seven failures.
Mater Dolorosa in Mbabane came up with 156 sitting for the examinations and seven of them obtaining merit passes while 22 got first class and 101 got second class passes with 10 getting a third and 16 failing. St Mark’s had 46 merits, 46 firsts, 86 second class passes with zero third and zero failures.
Swazi National, considered the United Nations of Swaziland, in a similar vein registered a quarter of a thousand with nine getting merit passes, 33 getting first class passes while 181 obtained second class passes, 30 came out with third class and only four failed. The green vegetable highlands of Mhlatane High had 16 merit passes, 39 first class, 129 second class passes, five third and eight failures out of a total of 197.
Further down the highlands in the Capital Mbabane, St Francis High had 28 merits with 52 obtaining first class passes while 45 came second with one third and also a single failure, impressive. Right on the other side of the valley St Mark’s High produced 46 merits with an equal number of firsts and 36 second class passes with no third and no failure, another sterling performance.
In Manzini, St Michael’s had 157 sitting for the examinations and 30 of these obtained merits while 38 got first class passes, there were 65 second class passes and three thirds with a single failure. St Paul’s on the other side produced five merits with 10 first class passes and 76 second class passes with, 22 thirds and 15 failures. St Theresa’s had 28 merits, 31 firsts, 53 second class passes with no third and also zero failures. Their brothers at Salesian had seven merits, 16 first classes, 83 second class passes, five thirds and 13 failures.
Zombodze National High managed to clinch one merit, 10 firsts, 77 second class passes, 23 thirds and 27 failures while Dvokolwako High had seven merits, 33 firsts, 98 second class passes, 10 thirds and 15 failures.
Timphisini registered 224 candidates out which 46 failed, 37 got third class passes, 115 second classes, eight firsts and six merits. Gundvwini Secondary had four merits, 13 firsts, 85 second class passes, six thirds and six failures. Ngwane Park High, another United Nations with 264 candidates produced nine merits, 33 firsts, 187 second class passes, 20 thirds and 13 failures. Hillside High had a solitary merit, nine firsts, 84 second classes, 14 thirds and 26 failures. Fundukuwela Secondary, a one time beacon of light also had a solitary merit, 13 firsts, 83 second classes, 22 thirds and 32 failures.
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