Local schools drop the exam ball

2019-01-17 06:01
Monwabisi Matshoba, Simanyene Secondary principal, speaks about his school’s matric performance. PHOTOS: MZWANELE MKALIPI

Monwabisi Matshoba, Simanyene Secondary principal, speaks about his school’s matric performance. PHOTOS: MZWANELE MKALIPI

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All three local high schools have failed to achieve their targeted pass rates during the 2018 matric examinations.

Simanyene Secondary School was the top achiever of the three schools, with 69,9 %; second was Khanyolwethu Secondary School with 66,5%, while Nomzamo High achieved a pass rate of 53,6%.

Before the final examinations started, the principals of all three schools were confident they had prepared the learners enough to pass well, and that they would reach their intended targets.

Of Simanyene’s 216 matrics who wrote 151 passed. Khanyolwethu had 197 learners that wrote matric exams and 131 passed. Nomzamo had 110 learners who sat down to write the exams and only 59 passed.

Although Simanyene did not meet their set target, the 2018 results showed an improvement on 2017’s 64,2% pass rate.

Khanyolwethu’s 66,5% was a decrease from 2017’s 76,6% pass rate and Nomzamo’s 53,6% pass rate was a decrease from 2017’s 66,3% pass rate.

The principals believe they did all they could to prepare the learners.

Chris Mgubanto, principal of Nomzamo High, told City Vision the school is disappointed with the results.

“We had set our pass rate target at 70%, based on our analysis of our learners,” he explained.

“This would have happened if certain learners had pulled up their socks. I say this because, as a school, we had put in a lot of effort.”

He added that the school had a clear picture after the trial examinations in September of how it may perform in the final exams.

Mgubanto says the subject combinations and learner commitment contributed to the school not achieving its goal.

It has 136 learners in Grade 12 this year.

The Nomzamo High principal believes self-determination, family and teacher support are the building blocks in learners doing well in exams.

Although he believes the school went the extra mile, he is adament there are areas it can still improve on, such as forward planning and analysing results.

Monwabisi Matshoba, Simanyene High’s principal, said it was the first time his school hosted study camps, which had contributed positively to the results it achieved at the end of the year.

“I think it played a big part, though we didn’t meet our set target,” he said. “We will intensify with more camps to ensure we improve our end-results. We tried, and I don’t feel bad about our results, but we can only go forward from this”.

Matshoba said this year Simanye will not set any target lower than 75%. The school hopes to achieve an 80% pass rate with its 230 matric learners this year.

Matshoba believes mathematics was the major stumbling block for the learners and “if maths was stronger, we could easily have reached 80%”.

Eric Titipana, Khanyolwethu High’s principal, admitted they are disappointed with the results.

He said 46 of the learners writing the final exams had been promoted from previous grades to Grade 12. “We had agreed with the learners and their parents to put them through a certain programme with set conditions,” Matshoba said.

“We identified them throughout the year, but at the end of the year the learners demanded to write, and it came back to bite us big time.”

Titipana believes promoted learners should be compelled not to write six subjects in one year.

This year, the school will have 257 learners expected to write their final Grade 12 examinations.

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