Cronje focuses on numbers

2007-12-29 00:00

The KwaZulu-Natal Education Department is the largest in the country, and accounts for almost a quarter of the senior certificate candidates in the country.

“This means that the province still has the largest number of candidates who passed in the whole country,” said MEC Ina Cronjé, announcing the results at the Royal Showgrounds yesterday.

Of the 148 093 candidates who wrote matric, 94 421 passed, a 63,8% pass rate, down from 65,6% in 2006.

A total of 72 978 pupils passed with senior certificates (63 341 last year), while 21 443 passes were with endorsements (19 101).

“It is this point which we wish to focus our attention on this year. Instead of a pre-occupation with percentage, we want to talk about the actual number of learners who pass the senior certificate examination,” said Cronjé.

She said there has been an increase of about 50 000 in the number of candidates since 2003, after a deliberate effort to improve access to education at all levels.

“I am very worried about this matric psychosis and this over-emphasis on failure.

“I think how we present it to those who did not pass could be demoralising and we should look at it as ‘they didn’t make it this time around’ so we don’t artificially keep young people from opportunities.”

Cronjé said that schools’ performances improved under the department’s intervention plans.

Schools with a pass rate of 0 to 19% decreased from 67 last year to 41 in 2007.

Superintendent-general Cassius Lubisi did not account for why the department still has such a low pass percentage rate.

Lubisi did say that they could not come up with a blanket formula for all under-achieving schools, however, every school with a 60% pass rate and under will be required to submit a turn- around strategy.

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