The National Examinations Council of Tanzania (NECTA) yesterday announced that a total of 521,885 students, up from 435,075 recorded last year, will today sit their exams countrywide, technically referred to as National Form Two Assessment (NFTA).

The NECTA Executive Secretary, Dr Charles Msonde, said in Dar es Salaam that the NFTA will last for 12 days until November 24.With an increase of 86,780 candidates in this year’s assessment, Dr Msonde explained that 251,570 candidates (the equivalent of 48.21 per cent) are boys, and 270,285 (51.79 per cent) are girls, adding that 56 are blind and those with poor sight are 330, who would get special treatment.

The National Examination Council boss said all was set for the FTNA, as they had successfully distributed question papers and booklets in all regions in Tanzania Mainland.The assessment was vital mission in the country’s development education as the results would identify weak areas in which improvements would have to be made for improving the learning system, he explained.

Last year’s FTNA results saw the pass rate going up by about two per cent in comparison to previous results. Last year, a total of 372,228 candidates who sat the FTNA on November 14 to 25 (equivalent to 91.02 per cent) passed the assessment against the 89.12 per cent pass rate for the year 2015.

Candidate performance in civics, history, geography, kiswahili, physics, chemistry, biology and basic mathematic improved while performance in English Language registered a decline compared to 2015.

Candidates performed well in Kiswahili as 90.06 per cent passed the subject, but scored poor marks in basic mathematics, with only 21.55 per cent managing to score average passes compared to the previous result of 15.21 per cent despite the slight improvement in the subject.

In another development, NECTA has warned all candidates, teachers, invigilators and school owners and other stakeholders to avoid cheating during the assessments as the council would not tolerate any breach of regulations.

“The council will not hesitate to take severe actions against anyone who will breach the assessment regulations; so we remind all candidates, school owners, invigilators and other stakeholders to avoid breaching the regulations,” Dr Msonde stressed.