KZN DoE defends pass rate 0% schools: Dlungwana ‘embarrassed’

2017-01-10 06:01

FOLLOWING the release of the 2016 matric results, the KwaZulu-Natal Education Department has hit back at those critical of the province’s pass rate.

The province was ranked seventh nationally, with a pass rate of 66,4% for 2016, an increase from 2015’s 60,7%.

The education department said last week that although the province had been placed seventh nationally, it should be taken into account that KZN had the highest number of pupils who wrote the 2016 exams in the coun- try.

Out of the 12 provincial school districts, uMgungundlovu was placed second, with a 76,38% pass rate. Amajuba district took first place with a 77,4% pass rate.

Education MEC Mthandeni Dlungwana said KZN had the most National Senior Certificate examination candidates, accounting for close to 30% of the National Senior Certificate pupils­.

He said the province had the second largest population in the country, with over 147 000 pupils enrolled to write matric exams compared to the top province, the Free State, which had just over 27 000 enrolled pupils.

“As one of the most rural provinces we are confronted with highest levels of poverty, unemployment and in-equalities,” said Dlungwana.

“This places an extra burden in the allocation of resources to schools.”

KZN acting premier Sihle Zikalala said schools with 100 pupils writing matric exams and which achieved a 90% pass rate were less recognised than schools that had four pupils writing with a 100% pass rate.

“The accolades go to the school with the four pupils who had a 100% pass rate,” he said.

He said the larger schools with a 90% pass rate also contributed to the province.

“This looks like the school with fewer pupils did very well compared to the schools with more pupils due to the high population.”

He said this made it difficult to compare KZN to smaller provinces.

Dlungwana said in his speech that the province’s performance in 2014 and 2015 had been unsatisfactory, “which left all of us shocked, disappointed, embarrassed, but still determined to overcome the situation and turn things around”.

He said KZN has experienced three “serious” declines — the first one appearing between 2006 and 2008 at eight percent.

The second decline was between 2010 and 2011 at three percent and “the most serious decline” was 16,7% between 2013 and 2015.

The MEC said in the previous three years, KZN received a 77,4% pass rate in 2013, a 69,7% pass rate in 2014, and a 60,7% pass rate in 2015.

“The question that we ceaselessly ask is why these declines when we had support programmes in place?


“A few indicators point to weak leadership, lack of accountability especially in schools and districts, non-completion of the curriculum, lack of quality common assessments throughout the system, curriculum changes, and a lack of resources.

“The most important one among these is the leadership that failed to take decisions and to act decisively,” said Dlungwana.

He said the province had the highest number of “progressed learners” (pupils who had failed three subjects and were pushed through to the next grade) in 2016.

“From the 12 938 progressed learners who wrote the examinations, only 4 495 candidates passed, which is only a 34,6% pass rate.”

He said, however, that he was pleased the province had improved in mathematics and physical science compared to 2015.

In maths, the province achieved a 37,91% pass rate compared to 33,23% in 2015.

In physical science it received a 57,76% pass rate compared to 51,81% in 2015.

KZN has 85 schools that achieved 100% pass rate while in 2015, only 66 schools had a 100% pass rate.


KZN Education MEC Mthandeni Dlungwana also announced “with a deep sense of embarrassment, disappointment and disbelief” that KZN had nine schools that obtained a zero percent pass rate.

He said the number of schools with a zero percent pass rate had only decreased by five from the 14 schools in 2015.

“The 215 schools that achieved a 30% pass rate and below in 2016, compared to the 308 schools in 2015, remain a serious cause for concern and drastic measures need to be implemented immediately to move all of them to 50% and above.”

He said another worrying issue was the overall performances of progressed learners, saying it was not pleasing. He said the matter should be dealt with “decisively as a matter of urgency”.

“We cannot allow the province to be drawn back by the same factor every year.”

He said the department would be taking “decisive steps” regarding districts that had consistently not achieved the required results “in spite of numerous interventions and resources provided”. — Witness Reporter.


1. Amajuba: 77,4%

2. uMgungundlovu: 76,38%

3. Umlazi: 74,42%

4. Umkhanyakude: 69,17%

5. Uthukela: 67,7%

6. Pinetown: 66,38%

7. Ugu: 65,39%

8. Harry Gwala: 63,79%

9. King Cetshwayo: 63,42%

10. Umzinyathi: 58,13%

11. Zululand: 57,97%

12. Ilembe: 52,42%

In uMgungundlovu, 14 schools received a 100% pass rate. The schools are as follows:

•Howick High School

•Jabula Combined School

•Maritzburg Muslim School

•Nizamia Islamic School

•Nottingham Road Combined School

•Tendela Combined School

•Weston Agricultural School

•Georgetown School

•Maritzburg College

•Chistlehurst Academics & Arts

•Emzamweni High School

•Luthando High School

•Masimdumise Secondary School

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