Pass decline criticised

2007-12-29 00:00

Political parties and teacher unions have raised concerns over the drop in the matric pass rate.

The department of Education said the pass rate declined from 66,5% in 2006 to 65,2% this year. In KwaZulu-Natal the pass rate went from 65,6% to 63,8%.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) said the decline came as no surprise.

Both parties blamed the public service strike as one of the contributing factors.

“The education system was crippled by a month-long teacher strike in June, and a disorganised catch-up plan left learners with a massive hill to climb ahead of their final exams,” said IFP spokesman on education, Alfred Mpontshane.

Other factors, the DA said, included the lack or late delivery of learning materials and the shortage of qualified teachers.

President of the Pan Africanist Congress, Letlapa Mphahlele, called for a total overhaul of the education system saying results were “very disappointing”.

“The department of Education must take the blame for the problems in education. These are characterised by, among others, confusing and ever-changing curricula [and] lack of monitoring systems,” he said.

The African National Congress also said it is concerned.

“We are of the view that this issue needs to be addressed urgently as it has a direct bearing on the country’s skills development programme,” said party spokesman Smuts Ngonyama.

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