Lesufi: ‘We must cherish, defend Gauteng’s number 1 spot’

2015-01-06 13:20

Any province that wants to oust Gauteng from the number 1 matric results spot will have to work abnormally hard, says the province’s education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi.

He has also announced that his officials will audit all schools in Gauteng that performed poorly and all teachers whose students achieved less than 20% in the exams.

He announced the suspension of subsidies to an independent school that achieved a 100% pass rate in 2013 – and 0% in 2014.

“We have to find out what happened there before we reinstate the subsidies.”

Lesufi today addressed more than 300 people who gathered at Wits’ Linder Auditorium, a day after Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced the national matric pass rate of 75.8%.

Gauteng’s matrics scored an 84.7% pass rate.

“To be the best you must beat the best. However, we are concerned that our best is still not the best in the world,” Lesufi said.

“Quality education is a human right, quality education is a public good, and it contributes to social and economic development.

“It’s not where you were born that should determine your lot in life. No child must suffer and get gutter education because of the colour of their skin.”

He said he was happy that Gauteng had reclaimed the number one spot – in 2013 the Free State came out tops.

“We have reclaimed what belongs to us, the number one spot. We cherish it. We must cherish and defend it. It should be synonymous with Gauteng,” Lesufi said.

About 37 000 of the 150 000 pupils who achieved a university entrance pass came from Gauteng, Lesufi said, adding that 35% of all those who achieved diplomas came from the province.

Gauteng is home to 440 high schools, of which 409 achieved a pass mark of more than 60%. About 112 of the 409 school achieved a pass rate of between 80% and 90%.

Lesufi also announced that five schools in Gauteng were embroiled in the group copying scandal.

“Four are independent schools that are subsidised by the province and one is a public school. We are busy finalising investigations and if we find that the four independent schools were involved in copying, they will be deregistered as exam centres. I will not tolerate cheating. I will also make sure the public school fully accounts for what happened.”

Lesufi also announced that when schools reopen in a week’s time, seven schools will be paperless.

“A paperless classrom, which is the future, is now a reality in Gauteng. About 3 700 pupils in those schools will never see a textbook again. They will have e-books, every learner will have a tablet, every teacher will have a laptop and every class will have an interactive board,” he said, adding that by 2019 the chalkboard would be a thing of the past.

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