118 000 pupils who sat for grade nine exams in 2009 have failed.
Ministry of Education Permanent secretary James Mulungushi announced in Lusaka today that a further 23 113 pupils who entered for exams did not sit.
Mulungushi said only 128,467 pupils who sat for grade nine examinations last year have been given places in grade 10.
According to Mulungushi, this represents over half the number of pupils who sat for Grade 9 examinations last year selected to Grade10.
Mulungushi said the results shows a 51.96% per cent progression rate compared to 48.57 per cent in 2008.
He said of the 128,467 selected pupils 72,445 are boys while 56,022 are girls and following the change in policy on selection they will all proceed to grade 10.
Mulugushi said Grade 10 classes will open on February 8th with a grace period of up to February 19, 2009.
He said 62 pupils were involved in examination malpractices related to smuggling of material in examination rooms.
He claimed that in Western province all the female candidates who obtained full certificates have been selected to grade ten.