ZIMSEC O’Level 2015 STEM Performance shows improvement from 2014

studentsIf you’re in Zimbabwe, or have been in the past couple of months, you know that STEM (Science and Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education is a hot topic right now. From STEM students being offered free A’ level education, university applicants being told that without Mathematics, they can’t be accepted into university, to now the turf wars for who should own the STEM discussion.

It only makes sense therefore to take a look at how students that sat for O’Levels in November 2015 performed. The O’ Level results were released earlier today by ZIMSEC. Here is a table showing the pass rates for 2015 as compared to the 2014 pass rates.

SubjectYear 2014 Pass RateYear 2015 Pass Ratechange
Integrated Science22%32%+10
Physical Science61%72%+11
Human and Social Biology38%35%-3

The results show that there has been an overall significant improvement in performance in STEM subjects with Mathematics, Integrated Science and Physical Science all registering impressive increases – 5, 10 and 11 percentage points respectively. The Mathematics pass rate increased from 21% in 2014 to 26% in the November 2015 exams. Integrated science a jump from 22% in 2014 to 32% in 2015 and Physical Science a noteworthy increase from 61% to 72%. The Chemistry subject registered a modest 2 point improvement from 56% in 2014 to 58% in 2015.

Candidates however registered a declined in the science subjects with Physics, Biology and Human & Social Biology all experiencing a -3 point decrease. Geography too experience a decline, from 41% in 2014 to 39% in 2015.

Commenting on the results, ZIMSEC Director, Mr Esau Nhandara said: “These improvements are in line with Government thrust in the teaching and learning of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects.”

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Image credit: Defzee