Form One girl (14) passes ‘O’ Level exams

A Form One learner at Atlantic Academy in Harare, Shalom Zingwe, took the Cambridge O Level exams last year aged only 14 and scored three A grades in Computer Science, Accounting and Economics with Bs in Mathematics, Geography and Business Studies.

School director, Ms Patience Mufokozana said after consultation with her parents, Shalom would be proceeding to Lower Sixth from Form One.

“We agreed that she should proceed to Lower Sixth Form because she passed very well. Normally, learners take these exams aged 16 or 17 and it’s quite remarkable that she achieved this at only 14,” said Ms Mufokozana.

Another pupil from the same school, Kudzaishe Mhaka, took the exams aged only 15 and scored seven A grades in Chemistry, Physics, Accounting, Computer Science, Mathematics, Biology and Geography.

Overall, the school recorded a 95 percent pass rate.

Harare’s Champion College recorded a 100 percent pass rate and awarded scholarships to two fraternal twins, Patience (female) and Prosper (male) Muza who excelled in the 2023 Cambridge O Level examinations by scoring distinctions in all their science subjects.

Prosper recorded seven A grades in Mathematics, Chemistry, Computer Science, Physics, Biology, Accounting, and Geography while Patience scored A grades in Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Biology and Geography.

In an interview, the elated twins attributed their success to discipline, dedication and hard work and thanked the college administrators for the kind gesture.

The pair said they always study together at home and were hoping to pursue science subjects at Advanced Level and beyond.

“We are very excited about this development and we hope to pursue sciences up to university level. This was really a result of dedication and hard work.

“As a girl, you should have self-control. There are a lot of things that can happen at school that could affect your studies, but you should not give in to peer pressure,” said Patience.

Prosper said: “My desire is to excel in my studies and attend one of the world’s top universities, so that I can come back and support my fellow Zimbabweans. As our President says, a country is developed by its own people,” Prosper said.

Another pupil who excelled, Tshepang Ndovorwi (17), wants  to become a neurosurgeon and hopes to make a contribution to improving the country’s medical sector.

College director Dr Tendesai Mushamba said the awarding of the scholarships was part of the school’s corporate social responsibility programme.

He said they were also trying to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects in line with the Government’s Education 5.0 thrust.

“It is our small way of giving back to the community and rewarding excellence. We recorded a 100 percent pass rate in the November 2023 Cambridge examinations and we hope this gesture will inspire other students to work hard.

“We are placing emphasis on STEM subjects because of the Government’s desire to promote science subjects,” he said.

Results released recently show that Zimbabwean students who sat Cambridge Advanced Level examinations in 2023, recorded a very high pass rate with parents excited about the wave of success.

Private schools have a higher number of learners taking Cambridge examinations and are slowly closing the gap of the traditional academic powerhouses, the church-run mission schools.

Girls have been outshining boys in recent years in the State system, both in the numbers taking O Level and A Level exams and in the pass rates.

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