KZN bucks the trend

2010-01-08 00:00

PREMIER Zweli Mkhize has praised KwaZulu-Natal’s class of 2009 for being the only province to improve its pass rate, up 3,3% to 61,1%.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced the national pass rate of 60,7% for 2009 at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. Motshekga said the drop of 1,8% from 2008 was disappointing.

In KwaZulu-Natal, of the 132 176 matriculants who wrote the National Senior Certificate examinations, 80 733 passed, with 26 287 pupils qualifying for admission to a Bachelor’s degree.

Another 31 406 pupils qualified for admission to university diploma studies and an additional 22 719 qualified for admission to higher certificate studies in higher education.

The provincial pass rate was announced by Education MEC Senzo Mchunu at a special awards function at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban yesterday.

He said the KwaZulu-Natal Education Department had the largest number of matric candidates, and he was pleased with the significant increase in the 2009 pass rate.

Eleven of the 12 education districts showed a marked improvement in their pass rates.

Umlazi was the only district where the pass rate dropped.

“It is significant that KwaZuluNatal [has the] largest number of candidates who pass the exams in the whole country … We view this as a major contribution to closing the skills and knowledge gap in our country,” he said.

Mchunu said the department was pleased to see improvements in the rural districts compared to 2008.

The Obonjeni, Othukela, Umzinyathi and Vryheid districts improved on their previous pass rates.

In his keynote address, Mkhize said it is great that KwaZulu-Natal produced a good pass rate, and the 3,3% increase means the province was “beginning to turn the corner”.

“KwaZulu-Natal lost a lot [more] jobs than other provinces. If there wasn’t a recession, there would have been even a higher increase in the results,” he said.

He said there were a lot of positive developments at rural schools that were previously disadvantaged.

Mkhize said the four schools that had a zero percent pass rate were a huge concern for the department, which will investigate why pupils did not pass.

“We never want to have a zero percent pass rate ever again. We are a province that is known for its hard work, so let’s continue with this attitude,” he said.

Mkhize advised that, in order for results to continue to improve, children should behave, attend school regularly and respect their teachers.

Across the other provinces, the Eastern Cape stabilised at 50%, while Mpumalanga had the poorest performance with a pass rate of 45,9%, a decline of 3,9%.

In Gauteng, the pass rate fell from 76,4% in 2008 to 71,8%.

The Western Cape also failed to halt a downward slide that has ta­ken it from 85% in 2004 to 75,7% in 2009.

The pass rate in the Free State declined to 69,4% from 71,8% in 2008, while the North West went down from 68,0% to 67,5%.

Limpopo also saw a decline from 54,3% to 48,9%.

Northern Cape had a significant drop of 11%, with 61,3%, compared to 72,7% in 2008.

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