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