My son victim of foolishness of our education system

 The grade seven results are out. Every parent across the country was very anxious to see how their child did and so were the pupils themselves. As one of the parents of the grade seven candidates, I rushed to my son’s school to get his results. The face the head teacher as he greeted could tell it all that my son was not selected to grade eight. My heart sunk in disappointment and worries as what was to become of my 11-year old baby boy. Was he going to go into the Winter Kabimba’s national service – the said PF way to empower our children?

This feeling drove me to check on the boy’s results much closer. Bingo! I found something, in fact it’s everything. My son qualifies to go into grade eight for our local secondary school’s passing mark is 736 and the boy’s best six subjects is 738. But owing to our foolish education system in our great nation of Zambia, the Examination Council of Zambia (ECZ) recorded 726. The following are his scores:

  1. English                                                                  126                         1
  2. Mathematics                                                     125                         1
  3. Social and Development Studies                               123                         1
  4. Integrated Science                                          125                         1
  5. Local Language                                                  103                         3
  6. Special Paper  1                                                 114                         2
  7. Special Paper  2                                                 111                         2
  8. Creative and  Technology Studies             125                         1                                                                                              Total Marks                                 726

This made me to go back to his school so that the head teacher could give me a better clarification as to why my son’s best six subject are not adding up to the ECZ’s Total mark of 726? His first answer was a typical Zambia way of answering a question with another question. ‘Do you think a computer can make a mistake?’ Please God have mercy on us. Anyway I asked him to tell me how the grade seven results are totalled up. He said you add up the entire eight subjects written. Fine! Let us add them – the result is 953. Sir, my son is the best in the district then, I said. No! No! No! Give me time I find out from our local ministry of Education said the head teacher.

A week later, I was called back and told – sorry sir there is truly an error on your son’s results. You have to go to the provisional office so that they can give you a mail to take to ECZ and have the results corrected.  As a considered parent, I went to their Ministry of Education – provisional office. I explained my case the officer there. He gave me a cool smile and then said the results were correct. My question was how?

He explained – grade seven results do not take English and other best five subjects as the qualifying subjects. In fact a pupil can get zero in English but still qualifies to grade eight. I said “B.S” please explain this foolishness further. The Special papers 1 and 2 he said are the first qualifying subjects plus any other four and of these four, English may or may not be one of them. You may be interested note that these two special papers are not even taught in classes as a subject yet they are the most important ones in totalling up the results. So by the ECZ policy, the results are correct.

My son is not selected to grade eight because the foolishness of the Examination Council of Zambia – ECZ- policy states that the special papers 1 and 2 are not part of the subjects to be taught from grades 1 to 7 yet they must be the qualifying subjects. They are only introduced by all primary school teachers in grade seven as part of the revision exercises as they prepare our children for the examinations. Please ECZ cut this ‘B.S’

With a heavy heart I returned home. But on my way I realised that there is another ECZ that moves in the same corridor of foolishness – The Electoral commission of Zambia. My God stupidity is contagious.

  • A driver needs are valid driver’s licence to get a job as a driver.
  • Security firms (G4S) need a person with at least a grade nine certificate to be their employee as a security guard.
  • You needed a well documented CV, qualifications, and medical report to get that office you are in today.

But the number one office in the land, the office of the President handled by the ECZ on behalf of all Zambians, does not need a person with a well documented CV, qualifications, and medical report. The only qualification he needs and hold is the Green National Registration card – NRC. How in this time and age are we going to have economic development when the holder of the office of the president is only NRC QUALIFIED? Please Zambia and PF, I do not mean H.E. the President but policy.

How can we be this stupid as a nation and yet keep on breathing. The errors in the two ECZ bodies must be corrected.

Thank you.


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