KZN concerned about matric pass rate
Durban - KwaZulu-Natal's matric pass rate declined in 2011 compared to 2010, the provincial education department's head announced in Durban on Thursday.
"In 2010 we had a 70.7% pass rate and in 2011 the pass rate dropped to 68.1%," Dr Nkosinathi Sishi told reporters.
A big concern was the decline in the mathematics pass rate.
"There are difficult decisions we have taken as a country, one of them is that every student has to take mathematics or mathematics literacy as a subject."
The problem was that KwaZulu-Natal was predominantly a poor province, he said.
"Nine of the 20 districts considered to be poor in the country are in the province. Socio-economic issues still determine the performances of learners. Learners have to walk long distances and learn in adverse conditions."
He said the government needed to ensure the success rate at schools was not determined by the wealth of pupils' parents.
He attributed the decrease in the pass rate to children failing to get a 40% pass for Zulu and English first language.
"When we have not done well we need to learn and improve on our performance," Sishi said.
The department would launch a programme of action to improve the quality of education.
"Those who students who failed subjects, but qualified for supplementary exams will be given the opportunity to write the exams. The timetable is already up on our website."