Shocking pass rate at farm school blamed on government

2017-01-13 06:01
Thibane Combined School.    Photo: Siphelele Nketo

Thibane Combined School.    Photo: Siphelele Nketo

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PARENTS are blaming the Department of Education for the poor performance of matrics at Thibane­ Combined School in a farming area called kwaPakkies outside Kokstad.
The school was the worst performing school in Kokstad as only one matric pupil passed, and the remaining 11 failed.

Fever went to the school on Wednesday and found only a few parents waiting to register their children there.

The principal refused to talk about the problems that caused the school to perform badly.
Fever spoke to some parents outside the school and they pointed fingers at the Department of Education (DoE) for not providing enough teachers for Grade R to Grade 12 classes.

Parents said the school has only nine teachers and some are not qualified to teach Grade 12, but because of the limited amount of teachers they are teaching Grade 12 pupils.

The school was built by community members in 1991 for farm children.

In the previous years the school’s pass rate was very low and community members asked the Department of Education many times to provide more teachers, but this never happened.

“Last year we asked a pensioner to teach Grade 12. I don’t blame teachers for the poor results because they have far too much work,” said a parent, Nokwakha Maduna.

Last year the government threatened to close all farm schools around Kokstad that only have a few pupils, and Thibane Combined School was told to enroll more pupils or face closure.

Maduna said government must provide more teachers to get good results not to close their school.

A Grade 10 pupil, who wanted to be anonymous, said life orientation, geography and maths were not taught properly because teachers for these subjects were not provided.

“I feel bad for the 2017 matric pupils because of the lack of teachers at the school.”

The National Teachers Union deputy secretary Zama Ngubo said teachers are faced with an heavy workload because the DoE is failing to provide sufficient teachers in some schools.

Harry Gwala Department of Education District Director, Dumisani Sibisi said a meeting with stakeholders is to be called to discuss ways on how to assist badly performing schools in Harry Gwala.

In the previous years the school’s pass rate was very low and community members asked the Department of Education many times to provide more teachers, but this never happened

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