2019 matrics excel

2020-01-15 06:00

THE national matric pass rate for 2019 has exceeded 80%, City Press reported this week, and for the first time poor schools are starting to outstrip former Model C schools due to winter and spring holiday camps organised by the Department of Education.

“We’re now starting to see that it doesn’t matter where or who you are.

When given the opportunity, you’ll perform,” said an education insider, adding that 44 of 75 education districts had achieved a pass rate of 80% and above.

Insiders, education experts and commentators attributed the improvement in the pass rate to the maturing of the Curriculum Assessment Policy Statement, holiday schools and a significant improvement in infrastructure, and pupil and teacher support material — all of which boosted the pass rate from 78,2% last year.

“The department is going to announce the highest matric pass rate.

The system is on the rise,” said an insider in the department.

The Free State has displaced Gauteng in overall academic success, then followed by North West and the Western Cape in third and fourth place respectively.

Educational expert Professor Mary Metcalfe said the 80% pass rate was to be expected given trends, but that “our national attention should be on the 63% who’ve fallen by the wayside along the way, what we must do to address their economic and social inclusion and what we can do to make sure more succeed in future”.

A report that the department presented to SA’s Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training, Umalusi, last month shows that the

holiday camp schools attracted more than 530 000 matric pupils across the country’s provinces.

It also shows that the camps resulted in pupils receiving an additional 20 schooling days.

The holiday schools targeted high-risk pupils, progressed pupils and schools that enrolled more than 100 pupils for a single subject, as well as schools that enrolled more than 50 pupils but had achieved a matric pass rate of less than 60% in 2018.

A pupil at Wiggins Secondary School in KZN who was interviewed about her experiences said: “Winter school teachers are

dedicated and show a genuine concern for pupils.

“Interacting with pupils from other schools provided us with opportunities to learn from each other.”

— The Witness.

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