‘Don’t use schools as lever­age in protest ac­tion’

Diamond Fields Advertiser - - NEWS - NORMA WILDENBOER STAFF RE­PORTER

THE MIN­IS­TER of Ba­sic Ed­u­ca­tion, Angie Mot­shekga, has im­plored the com­mu­ni­ties of the North­ern Cape from us­ing schools as bar­gain­ing chips in their ser­vice de­liv­ery protests.

This came af­ter the Prov­ince dropped to third last place in the coun­try, ob­tain­ing a 73.3% pass rate.

The Gaut­eng Ed­u­ca­tion De­part­ment dom­i­nated pro­ceed­ings at the an­nounce­ment of the 2018 Na­tional Se­nior Cer­tifi­cate (NSC) re­sults on Thurs­day.

Gaut­eng pipped the Free State as the best per­form­ing prov­ince, achiev­ing an 87.9% pass rate, an im­prove­ment of 2.8% from 2017. The prov­ince also had eight dis­tricts in the 10 best per­form­ing dis­tricts in the coun­try.

In sec­ond place was the Free State, ob­tain­ing 87.5%, an im­prove­ment of 1.4% from 2017. The Western Cape and North West fol­lowed, re­spec­tively ob­tain­ing 81.5% and 81.1% pass rates.

In fifth place was Mpumalanga, im­prov­ing its 2017 pass rate by 4.2% to ob­tain 79%. Kwazulu-natal with 76% (3.3% im­prove­ment), North­ern Cape with 73.3% (2.3% de­cline) and the Eastern Cape with 70% (5.6% in­crease), were the other prov­inces to ob­tain a 70% and above pass rate.

Lim­popo, de­spite im­prov­ing its pass rate by 3.8% to 69.4%, was the only prov­ince to miss out on the 70% thresh­old.

For the first time in the NSC re­sults his­tory, the 10 top per­form­ing dis­tricts in the coun­try were from two prov­inces, namely Gaut­eng and the Free State.

The North­ern Cape and Western Cape were the only two prov­inces not to show an im­prove­ment in their per­for­mances, with the Eastern Cape hav­ing the largest per­for­mance im­prove­ment.

DA spokesper­son on Ba­sic Ed­u­ca­tion, Nomsa March­esi, mean­while pointed out that while the De­part­ment of Ba­sic Ed­u­ca­tion (DBE) cel­e­brated this year’s 78.2% ma­tric pass rate, it had failed dis­mally to ad­dress the large num­ber of learn­ers who don’t write ma­tric in the first place.

“Nearly half the pupils who en­rolled in Grade 1 in 2007, didn’t write the full-time ma­tric ex­ams in 2018 as they were ex­pected to.”

She added that the role of the new Mul­ti­ple Exam Op­por­tu­nity (MEO) on this year’s marks was also strik­ing. “The Eastern Cape, Lim­popo, Mpumalanga and North­ern Cape all had over 15% of their can­di­dates writ­ing only some of their ex­ams in Novem­ber 2018, with the rest in May/june next year.”

The party ex­pressed the con­cern that these can­di­dates would not com­plete their re­main­ing ex­ams.

“If these learn­ers aren’t fin­ish­ing their ex­ams, they are just be­ing dropped from the sys­tem to in­flate pro­vin­cial pass rates.

“So, not only are learn­ers drop­ping out or get­ting stuck be­fore ma­tric, we now have the po­ten­tial to lose thou­sands of learn­ers who don’t com­plete the MEO.”

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