Ombudsman to audit Form One selection process

The Office of the Ombudsman will conduct an inquiry into the 2019/20 Primary School Leaving Certificate of Education (PSLCE) examinations and secondary school selection process.

Principal Secretary for Education Chikondano Mussa said in a press statement today that the audit report will be ready within four months.

Mussa also said an independent expert group including leading academics will be convened to undertake a multiyear analysis of the PSLCE examination results to determine the nature, extent and causes of inequalities in the examinations.

“Given that the selection process has been merit-based, the large variation in performance across the country reflects a deep inequity of resources and service provision available between different primary schools, between different educational districts and between different educational divisions,” reads the statement in part.

The move follows concerns from the public on the selection of 1,860 students into national secondary schools across the country.

However, the Ministry said the selection is based ‘on merit’, based on the aggregate score of the top five PSLCE subjects including English.

“Students are selected to National Secondary schools from a national student merit list for boys and a national student merit list for girls.

“The cut-off score for selection for boys this year was 380. The cut-off score for girls was 354. Students are allocated to schools regardless of their home,” reads the statement.

Mussa also said government will create a special fund of K1 billion for Community Day Secondary School refurbishment

“Schools in greatest need will be identified objectively based on a defined set of criteria and efforts will be made to maximise the number of schools that can benefit from the fund,” reads the statement.

Mussa said the Ministry will continue to address outstanding capacity gaps that afflict the education sector which are the lack of appropriate school infrastructure and the shortage of professionally qualified teachers.

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