Department to focus on ailing schools

2013-01-05 00:00

SCHOOLS are only as good or bad as their principals, Education MEC Senzo Mchunu said this week, after four schools in KwaZulu-Natal recorded failure rates of 100% in the 2012 matric examinations.

During the announcement of the provincial results in Durban on Thursday, Mchunu expressed disappointment at schools in the province that had achieved pass rates of less than 20%.

“I’m totally unhappy about those schools,” he said.

“I’m unhappy about those results. I’m unhappy about the principals of the schools. I’m unhappy about the governing bodies of those schools. I’m unhappy about everything about those schools.”

Mchunu said the four schools would be the first targets in the first quarter of 2013 and that the department would “diagnose” the reasons for their poor performance.

He said the department would visit the schools.

“We continue to say the school is as good and as bad as its principal,” he declared.

Mchunu promised to work out comprehensive turnaround strategies for the schools and to take action against the principals.

Some of the schools had no reason for underperforming, he added.

According to the department, of the 1 712 schools that conducted the 2012 matric exams, 34 had pass rates below 20% and 472 had pass rates below 60%.

However, there had been an increase in the number of schools with pass rates above 60% — a total of 1 240 schools.

Only 106 schools managed to score 100% pass rates.

The pass rate in the province improved from 68,1% in 2011 to 73,1% in 2012.

The schools with 0% pass rates were:

• Ntuli Combined School in Ilembe District (16 pupils wrote);

• Fulton School for the Deaf in Pinetown District (six pupils wrote);

• St Martin de Porres Comprehensive in Ugu District (eight pupils wrote);

• Kwadonsa School in Umkhanyakude District (one pupil wrote).

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