STANDARD seven pupils across the country start their Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE) today, with head teachers, ward education coordinators, invigilators and school owners reminded to observe regulations.
A total of 1,384,340 pupils, 723,064 girls equivalent to 52.23 per cent and 661,276 boys equivalent to 47.77 per cent are sitting for the examinations across the country.
The primary education finalists include 4,221 pupils with special needs, National Examinations Council of Tanzania (NECTA) Acting Executive Secretary Mr Athumani Amasi said on Tuesday.
According to Mr Amasi, there is an increase in the number of candidates by 22.28 per cent compared to last year in which 1,132,084 wrote their exams.
Briefing reporters in Dar es Salaam, Mr Amasi warned candidates, head teachers, ward coordinators and invigilators against involving themselves in any planning and implementing fraudulent schemes, saying stern measures will be taken against the culprits.
“The exams are conducted today and tomorrow in 17,943 schools countrywide … invigilators are reminded to protect the rights of candidates with special needs, including providing them with appropriate exam papers,” he noted.
He added,” Invigilators should also observe the rights of pupils with special needs, including a 20-minute extension for mathematics and a 10-minute extension for other subjects as directed by the council,”
Among special needs candidates, there are 101 blind candidates, 1,198 with low vision, 962 with hearing impairment, 487 with intellectual impairment, and 1,473 with physical impairment.
Mr Amasi further said the council would not hesitate to take measures against anyone involved in any cheating or swindling in any school.
NECTA called upon all stakeholders to report to the relevant bodies whenever they detect a person or group of people engaging in exam fraud.
The council chief said pupils will be measured in six core subjects of Kiswahili, English Language, Mathematics, Science and Technology, Civic and Moral Education, Social Studies and Vocational Skills.
He called on the Regional Examinations Committees and the councils, municipalities, and cities to ensure that they properly complied with all procedures for the conduct of the National Examinations.
“Committees should make sure that the environment of examination centres is safe, and stable and prevents any loopholes that could lead to fraud. They must make sure the security of selected centres is strengthened and used under the guidelines issued by the council,” he said.
On the pupils’ side, he said the council believes that teachers have prepared them well throughout the seven years of primary education. Thus, it is the expectation of the council that students will take the exam under the examination rules.
“School owners should respect the fact that their schools are special examination centres and therefore should not interfere with the responsibilities of examination administrators throughout this examination,” he said
PSLE is the first national examination that all standard seven students in Tanzania must take at the end of their seven years of primary school.
“The PSLE results will determine which secondary school a student can attend, which is unquestionably important for their future. “As a result, many parents, students, and teachers prioritise the PSLE over everything else in primary school, because it can influence a student’s career choice,” Mr Amasi explained.