The government has reinstated Form Two National examinations, setting the pass mark to advance to Form Three at 30 percent and stressing that failures will be allowed to repeat the class only once.
Parents will also be required to share examination costs set at 10,000/- for Form Two and 35,000/- for Form Four and Six final exams.
Deputy Minister for Education and Vocational Training Phillipo Mulugo made the statement in Dar es Salaam yesterday, saying that students who fail for the second time will be disqualified to continue with secondary education.
He said Form Two failures will have to go for alternatives such as Qualifying Test (QT) or Vocational Education and Training Authority (VETA) courses.
“We don’t want to keep disqualified students since it is not necessary for everyone to go for secondary education. They can opt for vocational training courses”, he noted.
Mulugo said among the reasons which prompted the move are poor results recorded in last year’s Form Four final examinations. He said researchers have revealed that the poor performance was largely due to the current system which allowed secondary school students to advance even after failing to reach the prescribed Form Two pass marks.
He said Form Four leavers have been performing poorly since 2008, indicating that students and teachers have not been doing enough to improve learning and teaching.
He said the government is also planning to reinstate the Standard Four national examinations for primary schools, but was still waiting for recommendations from the task force which is working to see whether the exam should be restored or not.
He said the cost of preparing exams have increased thus forcing private and public schools to seek assistance from parents, urging them to be extend the needed resources.
According to the Deputy Minister, last year the government spent 27.5bn/- for the Form Four national examinations while the total cost for Form Four and Six exams was 62bn/-.
Mulugo said parents will have to contribute 10,000/- for a Form Two exams and 35,000/- for candidates in Form Four and Six.
He said the amounts mentioned are equivalent to those which they were contributing between 1999 and 2009, before the government changed the system.
The 2010 Form Four examination results recorded a drop of 22 per cent in the number of passes compared to the 2009 Form Four results, implying a higher number of failures.
National Examination Council of Tanzania (NECTA) Executive Secretary Dr Joyce Ndalichako said 177,021 candidates, equal to 50.40 per cent of the 458,114 who sat for the examinations passed.
Of the 88,588 private candidates who sat for the examinations, 46,064 equivalent to 52.09 per cent passed, slightly over two per cent drop compared to 2009 results.
Meanwhile the government will soon allocate the teachers who recently graduated from training colleges, to offset the shortage noted in many secondary schools.