Parties disappointed at matric pass rate
THE ANC in the Northern Cape has expressed its extreme disappointment in the drop in the 2018 matric results, adding that the party will meet the leadership of the education department in an effort to analyse the results and agree on a way forward.
The provincial secretary of the ANC, Dehsi Ngxanga, said yesterday that it was particularly concerning for the ANC that there seemed to be no improvement in the matric results, both quantitatively and qualitatively.
“Education remains a societal issue and the responsibility of each and every stakeholder, and we would therefore like to urge parents and society to play a more active role in the education of our children,” Ngxanga added.
“The matric results are an indication that more needs to be done and we need to look at interventions aimed at constantly improving our education system.”
The party congratulated the pupils and the different stakeholders in the John Taolo Gaetsewe Region for the commitment and hard work which saw the district move from fifth place to second in the Province.
The party also applauded the Province’s teachers for their dedication throughout the year.
“To those matriculants who did not make it, we urge you not to give up, reregister and write your matric. Education is, after all, the only weapon that can change the world.”
The Congress of the People (Cope) added its disappointed yesterday also at “the poor outcomes of the 2018 matric results for the Northern Cape”.
Cope MPL in the Northern Cape, Pakes Dikgetsi, said three critical factors had led to “this unacceptable outcome”.
“The first is last year’s continuous shutdown actions, which disrupted education and had a longer term negative impact on the morale in the education environment. The decline is clearly visible and felt in the Frances Baard District, which is where the political unrest was concentrated. Once again, as it happened during political unrest in Kuruman few years ago, narrow and self-serving political battles have had a disastrous impact on the education of our children. Those at the helm of government leadership do not learn or simply don’t care.”
Dikgetsi said the ANC needed to take full responsibility for the decline in the pass rate. “It is their internal factional fights that caused the chaos and destruction. They manipulated innocent people to burn and break down not just public and private property but also discipline and law and order.
“They must not look for scapegoats anywhere but look at their own glaring political leadership failures. They caused the defocus and diversion despite Cope warning about the negative impact on the general community.”
Dikgetsi said the second factor was the disruptive conduct of the South African Democratic Teachers Union. “Where they are the dominant union there is general unprofessional behavior and a lack of an uncompromising spirit in the interest of the child.
“Township schools, where Sadtu rules, are in a sorry state and it is where the interests of the children are sacrificed at the altar of political expediency.”
He added that it was well known that Sadtu opposed the introduction of a performance appraisals policy for teachers.
The third factor, according to Dikgetsi, was the budget allocation to the Northern Cape Department of Education. “The budget is not adequate and the provincial government must review the allocation so that education receives a fair allocation.
For years the department has been pleading with the NC Legislature Portfolio Committee on Education for assistance in obtaining sufficient resources that are in line with an increase in the number of learners in schools but this has fallen on deaf ears and met with an intransigent ‘don’t care attitude’. The department has been warning that this situation may have negative consequences in the education outcomes and now the chickens are coming home to roost.”
The party called for urgent action to be taken to address these and many more challenges in the education system.
“The betrayal of the future of our children must be stopped. Education should not be politicised as is currently happening.”
The Democratic Alliance in the Northern Cape said that while they celebrated the achievements of individual pupils, especially those from previously disadvantaged backgrounds, the party was concerned about those who were failed by the Northern Cape Department of Education.
“In 2016, a total of 23 082 learners were enrolled in grade 10 in the Province. Only 9 909 wrote the exams last year, which means that only 42.9% of the pupils enrolled in grade 10 actually went on to write their exams. And, of this small group, only 31.5% passed,” DA leader in the Northern Cape, Andrew Louw, said.
He pointed out that this meant that only one of every three pupils enrolled in grade 10 in 2016 went on to pass their exams last year.