Botswana Examinations Council (BEC) released results of Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE) on Friday minus of three centres as they will have to undergo investigations first. BEC Executive Secretary, Professor Brian Mokopakgosi, said they have been instructed by the Board to withhold results of Molambakwena, Kgosi Sebele 1 and St Patrick Primary schools after some unusual trends were found in the three schools results. Mokopakgosi could not disclose specific reasons why the results of the mentioned schools could not be published with of the rest of schools, only preferring to say that investigations do not imply that students or schools cheated.
He emphasized that they are only working on suspicions after studying the trends of the said schools and could not reveal exactly what crimes were committed by the affected schools is. The decision to withhold results of such schools means that about 200 candidates did not receive their results when the rest of the candidates were able to access theirs on Friday. The results could have been released midweek but due to those circumstances concerning the three schools, they could not do so. They had to consult with the affected centres which in turn were expected to notify the candidates together with their parents.
Investigations into the matter will be carried and concluded in a period of six week, a period which is a probationary time during which candidates with complaints regarding their results can come forward to register their queries with the council. Mokopakgosi said the six week period gives those who feel unhappy time to launch queries and BEC and would normally mark the papers again. He said if they found that the student was correct, they would not charge them, but if found otherwise, a penalty fee will be imposed against the candidate. He said they should not be seen to be imposing penalties on students for failed queries as it as an international practice. Regarding the results, there has been no major improvement as the pass rate increased by a mere 0.58 percent.
According to Mokopakgosi, there has not been a significant jump in the PSLE results since 2012 when they had neither increased beyond or decreased 2 percent. The North East District is the region with highest marks with almost 83 percent of the pass rate while Ghanzi is comes last with nearly 43 percent. The female candidates are said to have performed better than their male counterparts both at subject and overall level, a trend which Mokopakgosi said they have been observing since 2012. In terms of the subjects written, a notable improvement has been recorded for Agriculture by showing an increase of 5.03 percent while other subjects have not shown any improvement beyond 2 percent mark viewed as a worthy change.