Both the EFF and the DA say there is little to celebrate about this year’s matric results when there are pupils who entered Grade 1 but didn’t make it to Grade 12.
The two political parties were responding to Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga’s announcement on Thursday evening that the overall 2018 pass rate, with progressed pupils included, stands at 78.2%. This was a 3.1% improvement from the 75.1% achieved in 2017.
When progressed pupils are excluded the overall pass rate stands at 79.4%. This is a 2.9% increase from the 76.5% achieved in 2017.
Progressed pupils are those who didn’t meet the full requirements.
The EFF said 1 171 323 pupils were enrolled in Grade 1 in 2007.
“If one considers that there were only 796 543 learners enrolled to write matric exams in 2018, it means that 374 780 or 32% of learners that were in Grade 1 in 2007, have either dropped out, have failed, or went to an FET (further education and training college). Meaning that any overall pass rate that is above 78% is misleading, and unable to account for the 374 780 other pupils that should have written matric exams in 2018,” EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said.
‘Pupils either stuck or lost’
He said government had made little effort to find out what has happened to these pupils.
“This is the greatest governmental child neglect consistent with apartheid educational marginalisation of black people.”
The DA expressed similar sentiments.
“These learners are either stuck repeating grades or being lost to the ANC’s failing education system completely. The minister admits that retention should be part of the measure for matric, but conveniently forgets this each January when it’s time to release matric results,” DA education spokesperson Nomsa Marchesi, said.
Marchesi raised concerns about the impact of the new multiple exam opportunity (MEO) policy on the 2018 marks. This policy allows pupils to take their final examinations in two parts.
“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,” she said.
Many condemned to ‘poor wages, humiliation and joblessness’
Marchesi added that the DA was concerned that these candidates would not go on to actually complete their remaining exams.
“When we asked the basic education director general earlier this year how many of these learners actually finished their second batch of exams – he couldn’t tell us.
“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,” Marchesi said.
Ndlozi said quality education in South Africa was the preserve of the rich. He added that many black children are forced to go to schools without electricity or running water and without flushing toilets. He said that in some cases two grades were taught at once by the same teacher or there was only one textbook for an entire class.
“Education was supposed to be the key to addressing the highly racialised economic inequality by preparing young people to actively participate in the economy, meaningfully. However, the governing party, on behalf of apartheid beneficiaries, has instead used the very same education to condemn many to poor wages, humiliation and joblessness due to lack of quality education,” Ndlozi said.
Meanwhile, President Cyril Ramaphosa has congratulated the Matric Class of 2018 for keeping the NSC pass rate above 70% and said this achievement underscores the importance of learners, educators, families, administrators and political leadership working together. “As South Africans, we can all take pride in the dedication shown by learners and educators. Together, they have presented our nation with another cohort of young people whose life chances have been significantly enhanced, and whose success in basic education is indeed reversing the damage inflicted on generations of South Africans who were deprived of quality education under apartheid,” Ramaphosa said in a statement on Thursday evening.
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Publish date : 2019-01-04 05:06:43