Eastern Cape matric results up, despite finishing last again

2017-01-06 06:56
Eastern Cape Education Superintendent General Themba Kojana (left) and EC Education MEC Mandela Makhuphula pose with the cream of the crop of Eastern Cape matrics at the East London ICC. (Derrick Spies, News24)

Eastern Cape Education Superintendent General Themba Kojana (left) and EC Education MEC Mandela Makhuphula pose with the cream of the crop of Eastern Cape matrics at the East London ICC. (Derrick Spies, News24)

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Port Elizabeth - There have been significant improvements in the Eastern Cape matric results, despite it being the country’s worst-performing province yet again.

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Education MEC Mandla Makhuphula said on Thursday that the 2016 matric class improved the province's pass rate by 2.5 percentage points, from 56.8% in 2015 to 59.3%. This figure includes the results of progressed pupils.

Progressed pupils are those who failed Grade 11 repeatedly before being automatically put into Grade 12.

While the results did not recover all the ground lost by the drastic 8.6 percentage point drop between the 2015 and 2014 matric pass rates, it was at least an indication that things were turning around.

Makhuphula credited a three-year plan for the current improvement. The plan focused on transforming the education system and was intended to help 560 secondary schools in the poorer quintiles 1 to 3 improve their matric pass rates.

What was concerning was that 70% of the matrics in the Eastern Cape were in the poorer quintile 1, 2 or 3 schools.

Improved results

Two Eastern Cape pupils, both girls, were in the top three of the National Top Performing Learner awards.

Anelisa Marwanqana, of Mariazell Senior Secondary School in Maluti, placed second in the quintile 1 category. Siphokazi Hlalukana, of Holy Cross Senior Secondary School in Mthatha, placed second in the quintile 3 category.

The number of bachelor’s passes for the province increased from 15 291 in 2015 to 15 654 in 2016.

Makhuphula said 18 of the province’s 23 districts improved their pass averages. Cradock, with an 81.2% pass rate was the highest performer, followed by Uitenhage at 76.3%, and Graaff-Reinet with 76%.

Five districts got under 50%: Lady Frere (49.5%), Dutywa (49.5%), Libode (47.9), Ngcobo (47.2%) and Lusikisiki (44.7%).

Qumbu was the most improved district, with the pass rate going up 17.4 percentage points, from 47.9% in 2015 to 65.3% in 2016.

Two schools, Middle Zolo Senior Secondary School and Msobomvu High School, had a 0% pass rate. Middle Zolo only had four Matrics and Msobomvu eight.  

Of the 38 subjects written in the Eastern Cape, the pass rates of 10 declined. Most notably in agricultural sciences 16 343 pupils of the 22 886 (71%) that wrote the exam passed. This was a drop of 3.6 percentage points compared to 2015.

Notable improvements in the pass rate were seen in accounting, physical science, geography, and history.

While the mathematics pass rate was still significantly low, with just 37.5% of matrics passing the subject, the Eastern Cape was bucking the national trend. More pupils were registering for the subject and more were passing.

No leaked papers or group cheating was reported. However, 13 pupils allegedly used crib notes or were suspected of copying. Their results would be withheld pending the outcome of investigations, which would determine if they would face charges or disciplinary hearings.

“The class of 2016 has performed above expectations in very difficult circumstances,” he said.

Read more on:    port elizabeth  |  education  |  matric 2016

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