KZN's ma­tric pass rate up but still not fit for the king

Observer on Saturday - - News - By Bon­gani Mthethwa

The KwaZulu-Na­tal ed­u­ca­tion depart­ment fell short of the 100 per cent pass rate de­manded by Zulu King Good­will Zwelithini in hon­our of his 70th birth­day cel­e­bra­tion. In­stead, the prov­ince achieved a 76.2 per cent over­all ma­tric pass rate for 2018.

Last year’s pass rate was a 3.3 per­cent­age point in­crease from 2017 — but pro­vin­cial ed­u­ca­tion MEC Mthandeni Dlung­wana was very pleased with the out­come, although he has promised that the depart­ment will work hard to im­prove the re­sults this year.

A to­tal of 116 152 full-time can­di­dates and 13103 adult ba­sic ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing can­di­dates wrote their fi­nal ma­tric ex­ams last year — the high­est num­ber from any other prov­ince in the coun­try.

“We’re happy to an­nounce that for the third time in a row we have suc­cess­fully in­creased the pro­vin­cial pass rate. Our over­all pass per­cent­age for 2018 stands at 76.2 per cent, which is a 3.3 per­cent­age point in­crease from the re­sults of 2017,” said Dlung­wana dur­ing the re­lease of the 2018 na­tional se­nior cer­tifi­cate re­sults at Dur­ban’s In­ter­na­tional Con­ven­tion Cen­tre yes­ter­day.

A beam­ing Dlung­wana told the packed venue that 38 573 learn­ers had achieved bach­e­lor passes in the prov­ince, which trans­lated to 33.2 per cent of the to­tal num­ber of full-time can­di­dates for 2018. This was sig­nif­i­cantly higher than the 28.7 per cent who achieved the same feat in 2017.

Ama­juba dis­trict re­claimed its top po­si­tion in KwaZulu-Na­tal by achiev­ing an im­pres­sive 81.7 per cent, fol­lowed by Ugu with 79.6 per cent, Umkhanyakude 78.1 per cent, Um­gun­gundlovu 77.5 per cent, Pine­town 77.4 per cent, Umlazi 76.76 per cent, Uthukela 76.13 per cent, King Cetshwayo 73.9 per cent, Zu­l­u­land 73.8 per cent, Umziny­athi 73.1 per cent, Harry Gwala 71,9 per cent and Ilembe 71.1 per cent.

Eleven dis­tricts im­proved their pass rate in 2018 and five achieved their high­est per­cent­age in­crease. These were Zu­l­u­land, which in­creased its per­cent­age by 8.97 per cent, Umziny­athi by 8.09 per cent, Ugu by 6.56 per cent, Ilembe by 6.19 per cent and Harry Gwala by 5.09 per cent.

Iron­i­cally, Dlung­wana’s home dis­trict Um­gun­gundlovu was the only one that re­gressed and de­clined by 4.01 per­cent­age point. He was not pleased, and joked that he would have to visit the dis­trict di­rec­tor.

Dlung­wana said the prov­ince had also showed a steady in­crease in the per­cent­age pass rate in maths and phys­i­cal sci­ence over the past three years.

In maths, the prov­ince ob­tained 37.91 per cent in 2016; 41.59 per cent in 2017 and 50.6 per cent in 2018. In phys­i­cal sci­ence, it ob­tained 57.76 per cent in 2016; 65.11 per cent in 2017 and a re­mark­able 73.6 per cent in 2018.

The num­ber of schools which achieved a 100 per cent pass rate was also in­creas­ing ev­ery year, said Dlung­wana.

In 2016, 85 schools achieved a 100 per cent pass rate, 109 in 2017 and 121 in 2018, with 32 in the Quin­tile 1 cat­e­gory and three spe­cial schools.

“In the same vein, our Quin­tile 1 schools are do­ing very well in spite of the chal­lenges they are faced with. In 2018, these schools achieved a 71 per cent pass rate.

“The 2018 per­for­mance shows that as a prov­ince, we have nec­es­sary sys­tems in place which we will con­tinue to strengthen.

“As we keep say­ing, we are in­deed on the right track. With this strong foun­da­tion, we are aim­ing at noth­ing be­low an 80 per cent pass rate this year,” said Dlung­wana.

Zwelithini, who plays the role of pa­tron of ed­u­ca­tion in the prov­ince and who also at­tended the re­lease of the re­sults, de­manded a 100 per cent pass of his lav­ish 70th cel­e­bra­tions, which took place at his Enyokeni and Lin­duzulu palaces in Non­goma in July last year.

NOT HAPPY: Zulu King Good­will Zwelithini speaks dur­ing the re­lease of the KwaZulu-Na­tal ma­tric re­sults for 2018 at the Dur­ban In­ter­na­tional Con­ven­tion Cen­tre yes­ter­day.

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