IT is every learner’s dream to bring home a result slip with well-aligned symbols, summarising hard work, commitment and dedication to schoolwork.
However, some go the extra mile to define academic excellence with flying colours.
One such learner is Professor Mpofu who sat for 2023 Advanced level examinations at JZ Moyo High School in West Nicholson in Gwanda.
While the norm is that pupils write three subjects for their Advanced Level examinations, Professor decided to test his aptitude by sitting for five A-level subjects.
He attained 25 points after scoring five As in Geography, Art, Animal Science, Biology and Pure Mathematics.
Professor’s dream is to become a data analyst and with his points, he hopes to get a scholarship and pursue his dream.
“When I opened my results I could not believe it. I had to ask someone else to come and check whether what I was seeing was real. During my studies, I didn’t think I would score all those points although I knew I would pass,” he said.
“I am so happy and have already started researching different universities abroad that can take me for my desired programme.”
Professor is one of the many Advanced level students who performed well in the 2023 examinations, with the batch achieving a 94.60 percent pass rate.
According to the Zimbabwe School Examination Council (Zimsec), the 2023 November Advanced Level pass rate rose by 6,6 percentage points to 94,60 percent compared to the 88 percent pass rate for November 2022.
Henry Nkomo, a former learner at Mpopoma High School in Bulawayo got 4As in Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Statistics.
Despite, basking in the glory of glowing results, Henry says the journey to success was not easy as it was punctuated by sleepless nights, burning the midnight oil.
“Managing my time was not so hard for me because I knew my ultimate goal was to pass. It was not easy because I had to ensure sleepless nights buried in my books and I am glad my effort paid off,” he said.
“I couldn’t settle for less and I aimed to get As, which is exactly what I did. My dream is to study medicine, a field I have always admired since I was a young boy.”
For Tinashe Magumba, when his aunt offered to pay for his school fees so he could move from a rural school in Murehwa to an urban one, he vowed to make her proud.
Today, his aunt is smiling from ear to ear after Tinashe scored 19 points in his A-level examinations.
However, this is not the first time that he has made his aunt proud as he was the best O-level student in his school.
Tinashe wrote Mechanical Maths, Chemistry, Physics, and Pure Maths at Luveve High School in Bulawayo.
He aspires to be an electrical engineer.
“My advice is don’t let your friends disrupt you from achieving your goal. We all know our families’ backgrounds. It is important to put extra effort into your work so that you do not disappoint your family that is supporting you,” said Tinashe. “In everything that you do, always put God first. I am hoping to get a scholarship and proceed to university and I am sure this marks the beginning of good things to come as I pursue my dream of being an electrical engineer.”
Alms Machengedzero proved to everyone that he is not just a chess guru, but also an academic one after he scored 19 points.
He made headlines last year for being part of the U19 Chess Zimbabwe team that represented the country in Egypt.
He wrote Biology, Chemistry, Pure Mathematics and Statistics and aspires to be a pharmacist.
“I am optimistic that I will be accepted at the University of Zimbabwe in the upcoming intake,” said Alms.
“My previous showings in my subjects had showed a lag in theoretical knowledge hence I applied myself to work on the theoretical parts of all my subjects and by God’s grace I managed to come out with good results,” said Alms.
Nicole Mashanga, a former learner at Matopo High School scored 15 points and she is confident she will secure a place to computer science at the university level.
She wrote Business Studies, Accounts and Computer Science.
Wayne Tshabalala who was at St Columbus High School in Bulawayo said he is not yet sure what he wants to study.
He scored As in Pure Mathematics, Accounting and Business Studies.
Veteran educationalist Professor Lwazi Sibanda who is also the executive dean of science and technology at the National University of Science and Technology (Nust), said schools need to be urged not to burden learners with more than three Advanced Level subjects because most universities only want a cut off of three subjects.
She said doing more than three subjects was unnecessary and would just make a child confused on the career path they should choose.
“Teachers and parents should be able to sit down with learners and advise them on the best combination after hearing their desired career path they want to take. As educators, especially at the tertiary level, we often see how confused learners are when they have to choose a programme because they would have done a lot of things,” said Prof Sibanda.
“To make matters worse some of the learners who do more than three subjects end up failing because they might get Cs only and the university will only count points from three subjects.”