OVER 135,000 candidates have failed this year’s Grade 7 examinations, according to an announcement by the government this morning.

OUT of the 454,396 candidates who sat the grade seven examination, 137,522, representing 30.28%, obtained division five and are deemed ineligible for grade eight.

This marks a substantial shift from the previous automatic progression system which saw In the past few years, including in 2022, where all learners who sat for the grade seven examinations were allowed to progress to grade eight even when some of them failed the examination.

In a press briefing held today, the Minister of Education, Douglas Syakalima, announced the 2023 grade seven and nine examination results, revealing a notable decrease in progression rates for grade seven candidates.

Syakalima emphasized the government’s commitment to a rigorous grading system, attributing the change to the abolishment of automatic progression from primary to secondary school.

This change resulted in a 69.72% progression rate, a significant drop from the 100% recorded in previous years.

“Following the abolishment of automatic progression from primary to secondary school, effective the 2023 grade seven examinations, the progression rate is 69.72% compared to the 100% which has been recorded since 2018.”

“Further, I wish to inform the nation that a total of 80,193 spaces at grade eight level across the country will revert to primary school to accommodate some of the learners who may wish to repeat grade seven . This is because not all grade seven candidates will proceed to grade eight as was the case before,” Syakalima added.

The Ministry of Education urged parents and guardians to note that only candidates obtaining the primary school certificate would progress to grade eight.

Those failing to meet the certificate requirements have the option to repeat grade seven or pursue vocational routes through continuing education schools or training institutions.

Meanwhile, the grade nine results showed a marginal decrease in certificate pass rates from 54.1 percent in 2022 to 53.55 percent in 2023.

Notably, 25,776 candidates failed the examination, with a total of 21,891 candidates absent, bringing the absenteeism rate to 6.98%.

In addressing examination malpractice, the Minister commended stakeholders for maintaining a leakage-free examination environment.

However, he noted that 54 cases of suspected malpractices were reported during the grade nine examinations, reflecting a significant reduction from the 989 cases in 2022.

The Ministry reiterated its zero-tolerance policy, highlighting the stringent provisions outlined in the newly enacted ECZ Act No. 3 of 2023.


The 2023 Grade 7 and 9 Examination Results are out. This is how you access them…


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