Education MEC takes responsibility for poor results

2010-01-07 13:22

BARBARA Creecy, MEC for education in Gauteng, today took

responsibility for a drop in the matric results in the province.

“I don’t want to lay blame... blame and responsibility stops here,

that’s what we are here for,” she told reporters in Johannesburg after

announcing last year’s results. The pass rate dropped from 76.4% in 2008 to

71.8% last year.

Creecy said this was not altogether unexpected and that her

department had spent the last six months taking a “hard look at the


After being in office for just over six months, Creecy and her

department found “very deep structural problems within the system”.

Work was being done at a national level to address the problem with

the fast tracking of a review of the national curriculum statement.

The MEC bemoaned work stoppages and disruptions at schools caused

by strikes, community protests and absenteeism, adding that her department had

worked hard in the last three to four months with school governing bodies,

labour organisations and student movements to ensure schools were properly


She was heartened by statements by the South African Democratic

Teachers’ Union leadership indicating there will not be “gratuitous disruptions”

to school this year.

Also, she conceded that education in the province was a work in

progress and that to get education right, all parties had to agree.

The department was also concerned about school closures during the

2010 World Cup (in June and July). To counter this, there would be additional

holiday programmes for Grade 10s, 11s and 12s.

Independent schools would come under scrutiny this year if they did

not improve their performance. Creecy said a large percentage of schools which

achieved under 25% pass rates were independent.

“We can’t continue to have schools with zero percent pass rates and

they remain registered,” she said.

Should these schools fail to up their game, they could be closed at

the end of the year.

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