Hope at last for the 0% school

2011-01-08 19:43

For two years, Imidushane Senior Secondary School in Ngqwele, Eastern Cape had no matric passes.

Fourteen pupils wrote in 2008 and 21 the following year, but none succeeded.

Eastern Cape Premier Noxolo Kiviet infamously visited the school unannounced in October 2009 only to find no pupils on the premises.

Teachers had to go into the village to look for the learners.

Former principal Zamuxolo Nyaluza, described by Kiviet as an “old man”, was suspended by then education MEC Mahlubandile Qwase after the release of the 2009 matric results.

Mncedi Mbidlana was appointed principal early last year and for the first time since 2007, five of the 34 pupils who wrote last year passed.

In 2005 only six out of the 31 pupils passed.

More success might be awaiting the school, as another 18 qualified for supplementary exams.

According to Kiviet, before Mbidlana arrived, children at the school went behind the principal’s back to change their school bus timetable to later in the mornings.

“Nyaluza was taken for a ride by pupils and teachers,” Kiviet said.

At the release of Eastern Cape results this week, Kiviet praised Mbidlana.

“He has done very well. Looking at the school’s previous performances, 15% is phenomenal,” Kiviet said.

She said the school had been dismal for a while – even in the lower grades.

Although Eastern Cape’s pass rate increased by 7.3 percentage points to 58.3%, 494 of the province’s 907 schools scored less than 50%.

Only Limpopo, with 57, had more than Eastern Cape’s 53 schools recording a pass rate of 20% or less.

Imidushane may have improved, but five of the 18 schools that had no passes are in the province.

Mzamomhle (40 pupils) in Butterworth, Mpingana (39) in Lusikisiki, Msobomvu (15) in East London, Riebeeck East (seven), and Nqabane (three) in Dutywa all failed to record any passes.

Eastern Cape education MEC Mandla Makupula said that while he was pleased with the school’s performance, “it is still among the poorly performing schools which require an intervention”.

Although the province failed to reach its 60% pass rate target last year, Kiviet has set this year’s bar at 65%.

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