Education approach bearing fruit - ANC
Cape Town - The improved matric pass rate for 2011 shows the government's approach to education is bearing the desired fruit, the ANC said on Thursday.
Spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said the increase of the pass rate from 60.6% in 2009 to 70.2% in 2011 spoke for itself.
"This is also a testimony that President Jacob Zuma's meeting with about 1 500 school principals soon after he took the presidency in 2009, to understand the challenges they face in work, was not in vain."
Mthembu said the visible improvements had vindicated the African National Congress-led government's decision to split basic and tertiary education into separate departments.
The SA Democratic Students' Movement on Thursday congratulated the government on the increase in the pass rate.
"The recently released results leave us with high optimism with regard to the future of South Africa and government effectively addressing issues affecting basic education," spokesperson Thabiso Dlamini said.
"We are however concerned by the results in the Eastern Cape where various factors let down learners in the build-up to their final examinations."
The Eastern Cape was the worst-performing province with a 58.1% pass rate, slightly down on the 58.3% achieved in the previous year.
The national government announced an intervention in the province in March last year after a myriad of problems surfaced. These included the termination of temporary teachers' contracts, suspension of scholar transport, non-delivery of textbooks and stationery, poor implementation of the school nutrition programme, and overall poor management of systems.
This was in addition to a strategic leadership vacuum, problems with the provincial department's structure and culture, poor financial management and a lack of monitoring and evaluation.
After visiting the Eastern Cape in June to assess the state of education, Zuma appointed a team in July to help strengthen education in the province.
In August, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced that an impasse had been reached after provincial leaders resisted intervention plans.
Dlamini criticised Motshekga's role, saying she "dragged her feet in the debacle.
"Having Zuma inform us about the problems faced by the province's education department and their plans to address them was merely window dressing which yielded no tangible results."