Western Cape pass rate down, but joy for Gugulethu principal

2010-01-07 13:36

THE Western Cape 2009 matric pass rate show a further

“disappointing” decline of 2.9%, from 78.6% in 2008 to 75.7% in 2009, but still

remain the highest in the country.

Western Cape education MEC Donald Grant, speaking at an awards

ceremony for the top 20 students in the province held in Cape Town today said of

the 44?931 learners who wrote the full examination, 34?017 had passed.

Grant said “another disappointment” was the number of learners who

had qualified for access to tertiary studies – and the pass rates in maths and


A total of 14?324 (31.9%) qualified for access to tertiary studies

in 2009 compared to the 14?512 (33%) in 2008.

In maths, 12?467 (64.9%) passed compared to 13?003 (65.2%) in


Grant said the physical science results were “very concerning”. Of

the 13?349 learners who sat the exam, 7?064 (52.9%) passed.

“This is a dramatic decrease from last year where 9,690 learners

passed with a percentage pass rate of 71.2%,” said Grant.

The Western Cape’s pass rate of 75.7% compares favourably with the

national pass rate of 60.7% down by nearly 2% from 62.5% in 2008.

The announcement of the top learners was a highlight for I?D Mkhize

Senior Secondary school principal Zola Phahlana, however. He received an award

for excelling in academic achievement and won R20?000 for his school, situated

in Gugulethu.

The money will be used for learning programmes and buying necessary

equipment to advance teaching and learning at the school.

Phahlana is credited with increasing the pass rate at the school

from 62.3% in 2008 to 80.3% in 2009.

Phahlana said he was “over the moon but surprised” when told he had

won the award. He said success involved having the right system in place and the

staff to carry out their duties.

“Both learners and educators must spend as much time in the

classroom learning and teaching. The time spent in the classroom must be real

teaching and learning and weekly analysis of the learners work must be the

priority of the management,” he said.

Phahlana said the achievement came even though the school had a

class ratio of one teacher per 45 learners. He hoped that in the “near future”

the school could downsize to one teacher per 33 learners.

In addressing the overall results, Grant said it was “obvious” that

there was a “long way to go” before the kind of pass rate could be achieved that

would improve the life chances of learners.

 – West Cape News

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