Is our ed­u­ca­tion SYS­TEM ON THE RIGHT TRACK?

Ex­perts warn that it's too early to cel­e­brate the cur­rent ma­tric re­sults as there is still a lot of work to be done

Move! - - ISSUE - By Pheto Ra­makobya

JUST like with most things in life, there’s a flip side to this year’s ma­tric re­sults, even though 78,2% is the high­est pass rate the coun­try has achieved in the last 25 years of democ­racy. CEO of the Fed­er­a­tion of Gov­ern­ing Bod­ies of South African Schools, Paul Colditz, says that there is still a lot that needs to be done be­fore we can cel­e­brate our ma­tric re­sults as there are a num­ber of stu­dents who sim­ply dis­ap­pear in the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem.

THE GOOD AND THE BAD

Ba­sic Ed­u­ca­tion min­is­ter, Angie Mot­shekga, re­cently an­nounced a na­tional pass rate of 78,2% in last year’s Na­tional Se­nior Cer­tifi­cate ex­am­i­na­tions, a 3,1% in­crease from 2017.

Ac­cord­ing to the Demo­cratic Al­liance MP Shadow Min­is­ter of Ba­sic Ed­u­ca­tion, Nomsa March­esi’s state­ment, Min­is­ter Mot­shekga failed to men­tion that al­most half of the pupils who reg­is­tered for Grade 1 in 2007 didn’t make it to ma­tric.

“You can­not have a group of learn­ers get in the sys­tem in 2007 and only 50% of them have writ­ten the ma­tric ex­am­i­na­tion. That is our big­gest con­cern.”

Paul adds that one of the rea­sons why we have a large num­ber of school dropouts is that the coun­try’s ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem is still fail­ing pupils in the early stages of school­ing.

THE FIG­URES

The EFF was also not ready to cel­e­brate just yet as it be­lieves the 78,2% pass rate is not re­al­is­tic.

“In 2007, over a mil­lion learn­ers were en­rolled in Grade 1, if one con­sid­ers that there were only over 700 000 learn­ers en­rolled to write ma­tric ex­ams in 2018. It means that 32% of the learn­ers reg­is­tered in Grade 1 in 2007, have ei­ther dropped out, failed or went to a FET col­leges, mean­ing that any over­all pass rate of 78% is mis­lead­ing and un­able to ac­count for the other 32% learn­ers that should have writ­ten ma­tric ex­ams in 2018," said a state­ment by EFF.

THERE IS STILL A LOT THAT NEEDS TO BE DONE

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