Eastern Cape bottom of the class again but making strides – MEC

2014-01-07 14:26

The Eastern Cape is again at the bottom of the class – the province has only managed a 64.9% pass rate, although this is a 3.3% increase on its 2012 result.

Provincial education MEC Mandla Makupula who announced the results this morning in East London said there was still room for improvement and defended the province’s failure to meet its own target of a 70% pass.

“We are not animals but people. We do have ambitions and targets, that’s why we set our target at 70% pass because we know it’s possible. We might not have achieved it, but there is nothing wrong with setting targets,” Makupula said at the Sterling Leadership Institute.

Although the province achieved the lowest mark against a national pass rate of 78.2%, Makupula highlighted the positive strides his embattled department had made.

“The provincial pass rate also represents a further and sustained increase since the 2011 results, and is up by almost 14% from the 51% we achieved in 2009,” he said.

Makupula said this was the highest overall pass rate the province had achieved since 2008, when the pass mark was 50.6%.

The MEC praised the province for staying above the 60% mark for two years in a row, “with further sustained increases way above 60% predicted in the years ahead.”.

Port Elizabeth was the best performing district with 74%, followed by Cradock with 73.5% and East London with 73.1%. The worst performers were Sterkspruit with 57.1%, Fort Beaufort with 56.6% and Qumbu with 52.6%.

Makupula said it was commendable that there were no districts with a pass rate of less than 50%. He said it was worrying that the province had two schools with a 0% pass rate – in the King William’s Town and Fort Beaufort districts – a fate they avoided in 2012.

Impey Siwisa High School in Alice had four matrics and Reshwa Senior Secondary School in Peddie had six matrics who wrote their final exams, but all of them failed.

Makupula said the department needed to learn from this. “It’s disappointing and a setback for us since in 2012 there were no 0% pass rate schools. But at the same time, it is a lesson.

“This is a reflection of the policy challenges we are facing and that is why we are calling for rationalisation,” he said. “What this 0% pass shows us is that these learners did not get the right teachers ... This needs our quick intervention as a department.”

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