After Tanzania Mainland had pulled out of the East African Examinations Council, in 1971 and before NECTA was established by Law, in 1973, the Curriculum and Examinations Section of the Ministry of Education was responsible for all examinations. With the establishment of NECTA, the Examinations became its responsibility in accordance with the law. The Curriculum continued to be under the Ministry of Education and the University College, Dar es Salaam until when it was taken over by the newly established, autonomous Institute of Curriculum Development (ICD) in 1975, which in 1993 was renamed as the Tanzania Institute of Education (TIE).
The National Examinations Council of Tanzania (Necta) yesterday announced results for the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE), showing a cut-throat competition among schools, which saw seven of the learning institutions that made the list of top ten in 2017 miss out.
Dar es Salaam's St. Anne Marie and Kagera's St. Severine and Rweikiza were the only schools that maintained their 2017 record to once again make it to the top-ten list in 2018.
St Peters (Kagera), Sir John (Tanga), Palikas (Shinyanga), Mwanga (Kagera) and Martin Luther (Dodoma) lost their 2017 places to new entrants in the list: Raskazone (Tanga), Nyamuge (Mwanza), Twibhoki (Mara), Kwema Modern (Shinyanga), Rocken Hill (Shinyanga), J. Kibira (Kagera) and St. Achileus Kiwanuka (Kagera).
Tainted by examination leakages, Alliance (Mwanza) and Hazina (Dar es Salaam) lost their 2017 positions in 2018 as their students did their re-sit examination in other schools after Necta nullified the earlier results.
The results announced by Necta executive secretary, Dr Charles Msonde, yesterday showed that the pass rate improved by 4.96 per cent in 2018 compared to 2017. Schools and candidates from the Lake Zone did unexpectedly well during the 2018 examination.
The zone produced eight of the top 10 schools nationally. A total of 733,103 candidates passed their PSLE exams (equivalent to 77.72 per cent), thus increasing the pass mark by 4.96 per cent.
While Dar es Salaam emerged as the top region after 92.26 per cent of its candidates passed the PSLE, Geita came second with a pass rate of 88.53 per cent. Arusha and Kilimanjaro regions came in third and fourth respectively, while Kagera, Mwanza, Iringa, Mtwara, Katavi and Njombe followed in that order.
According to Dr Msonde, a candidate from Kadama Primary School in Geita, Ndemezo Rutakwa Lubonankebe scored the highest marks to emerge the best candidate in the 2018 national exam results.
Innocent Seleli from Carmel Primary School in Morogoro, Given Malyango from Tumaini Junior School in Arusha, Diomedes Mbogo from St Achileus Kiwanuka (Kagera) and Sweetbert John from Mingas primary, (Shinyanga) completed the top-five list.
Najma Manji from Nyamuge (Mwanza); Beatrice Jeremiah from Mapinduzi B (Mara); Mohamed Mohamed and Luqman Ally both from Raskazon in Tanga; as well as
Fransisco Maiga from Kadama Primary School(Geita) came sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth respectively.
The Kadama Primary School head teacher, Mr Paulo Machibya, said the school's secret was to make sure that the candidates were well prepared for the examinations. To ensure the school sent several students to top-ten schools at the national level, he said students at Kadama Primary School were being tested twice every week for a period of six months consecutively.
"We gave them a total of 38 tests before they sat for the national examinations… Our goal was to produce five students on the national list of top 10 students, but so far we are happy that we have managed to produce the first and the tenth students," he said.
Kadama Primary School is found in Chato District, Geita.
The Geita District primary education officer, Mr Angasiri Kweka, said the district (Chato) targeted an average pass rate of 96 per cent, noting that though it was not achieved, they were proud to have achieved 95.03 per cent.
"Last year, we had two schools on the list of the bottom ten at national level. That is what forced us to devise our strategies so as to ensure that we did not repeat the same mistake," he said.
Innocent Paul Seleli, who came second nationally, said his success was due to hard work, time management and cooperation with his friends. "I thank my parents, teachers and my God. My favorite subjects were Mathematics and Science. I hope to study Mathematics, Physics, Geography, and Chemistry in the future," he said, targeting to ultimately make a career in engineering before venturing into politics.