Keep pupils in system - Western Cape MEC

2015-01-06 10:03

Johannesburg - Pupils should not be "lost" to the education system for the sake of achieving higher pass rates, Western Cape education MEC Debbie Schfer said on Monday.

"We believe that retaining more learners in the system and giving them the opportunity to pass the [matric] is more important than 'losing' learners along the way so that schools can achieve a higher pass rate," she said in a statement.

"We believe that this practice defeats the purpose of education for these children and is unacceptable. It denies them the opportunity to succeed, no matter what challenges lie before them."

The Western Cape was the country's fourth best performing province, with a pass rate of 82.2%, down from 85.1% in 2013.

"I have asked for a deeper analysis of these results to ascertain the reasons for this," she said.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced the national matric pass rate was 75.%, 2.4% lower than the 78.2% in 2013.

Schfer congratulated those pupils who had passed their matric exams, given indications the examinations were more difficult.

"In light of this we are also especially proud that the Western Cape has again achieved the highest percentage of bachelor's passes in the country, with 38.8% of learners achieving this quality pass."

The province improved its mathematics pass rate from 73.3% to 73.9%. The pass rate in physical sciences decreased by 1.9% to 70.7%.

  • Beaulah Fortuin - 2015-01-06 10:20

    I'm no expert but I say build more schools so we don't have 50+ pupils in classes, intensify teachers training at colleges,bring back a compulsory formal dress code for teachers because that was part of the reason why pupils respected teachers and bring back corporal punishment. And for the sake of improving the standard of education let the old teachers and professors write the curriculam.

      Secrecy Bill - 2015-01-06 10:45

      It's estimated that 1 in 15 students tries to be the class clown ...... Three class clowns can easily disrupt a good teacher's valiant efforts and sabotage everyone's chances! .... ( CHUCK EM OUT ! )

      Sino Msane - 2015-01-06 11:21

      As much as that is part the problem but i think educator need to apply themselves more at the work place also with co operation of learners of coz, i know a lot of school where there is 70plus students in one class and very limited resources but the schools stil do exceptionally well some with even 100‰ success rate. Another instance is the one of Limpompo we all know they had texbook issues overt the years but they stil did better than most.

      Nikki Downes - 2015-01-06 11:29

      Hi Beaulah. You are so correct re the class sizes. A maximum of 21 pupils is recommended. Larger than that and all sort of negative dynamics start, including the teachers being unable to spend time explaining in a manner that everyone gets it. A common symptom of this is the teacher who says 'I already explained it. If you weren't listening ask your friends'. The reality is that we all have different learning methods naturally. These intelligent children get left behind. At least double the schools. And urgently too. Plus ensure the teachers are the right personalities, have the subject knowledge, and are good at imparting this knowledge.

      Linds Ron-House - 2015-01-06 11:49

      @Beaulah & Nicki, I fully agree that class sizes must be improved. But I don't agree that we must build more schools. We must focus on existing schools first. If I'm not mistaken, about 23 schools were closed in the Western Cape. A number of schools have also been closed in other provinces too. Parents take their children to better performing schools, leaving other schools with so few children that they're not viable.

      Peter Storbeck - 2015-01-06 14:53

      Linds you are wrong. 3 schools were closed. The initial list was 23. At that same period 12 schools were closed in Soweto.

      Peter Storbeck - 2015-01-06 14:53

      Linds you are wrong. 3 schools were closed. The initial list was 23. At that same period 12 schools were closed in Soweto.

      Nikki Downes - 2015-01-06 20:33

      Linds did say "if I am not mistaken" so no harm done there. In my own opinion there is little point in keeping a school open with just 6 pupils. We have had a massive geographic demographic change, and without any doubt, we need a substantial amount more schools. Urbanisation patterns have created a demand that now sees up to 50 plus children per class! That is madness.

  • Howard Long - 2015-01-06 10:31

    The biggest problem is with the private schools. I know of a family member whose son so called failed. They said that they did not have space for him to repeat grade 11. This after being at the school for 4 years, and of course would not think of putting him grade 12. WHY, easy, they need to gloat and boast of a 100% pass rate, so as to keep up with the others.

      Sino Msane - 2015-01-06 11:11


      Linds Ron-House - 2015-01-06 11:54

      @Howard, You're so right - I am also ware of private schools registering poor performing students in other examination centres such as township schools and adult education centres, so they can maintain high (100%) pass rates. An expose is required in this regard as I believe it is more widespread than we think.

      Tracy Musto - 2015-01-06 13:33

      There are Model C government schools doing the same thing. My son was at one. The kids that 'battle' in the big classes and need a bit more attention to excel are basically ignored by the teachers. The school then tries everything to get the children out by 'suggesting' the kids go to other schools. Then I even know of one of the principals advising the mother of one child that the child is now 16 and legally allowed to leave school (with a Grade 8) and apply for a job as a packer at a local Spar. This kid is not a dummy, just one that the teachers don't have the time for to teach properly. It is all for the stats, these kinds of stats. It is happening a lot more then you would even imagine.

  • Secrecy Bill - 2015-01-06 10:35

    Maybe Zuma should add this commandment to his "better translation" of the Zulu Bible .. " Thou shalt not be cleverererer than Zuma and his 40 thieves ! " ... (Can't risk a clever electorate ! )

      Sino Msane - 2015-01-06 11:10

      Please hang your head in shame

  • Lwandiso Ntsenge - 2015-01-06 10:43


  • Niel Van Der Merwe - 2015-01-06 11:27

    How is it that a pupil can reach Grade 10 without being able to read and write. As I understand a learner is only allowed to fail once and then has to he passed on to the next grades. There us no use in keeping someone already in high school that can't even read in the system.

      Nikki Downes - 2015-01-06 20:38

      Or how about developing a special stream so that child DOES learn to read and write? Literacy should be a fundamental right and the education departments should hang their heads in shame if anyone is forced to leave school because of failure to teach literacy.

  • Rochelle Scheepers - 2015-01-06 12:08

    I was asked to leave a private school because I was failing. They have had a 100% matric pass rate for a few years and I was obviously going to affect that.

  • New_South_African_Glory - 2015-01-06 13:46

    How about sending repeat failed students to trade schools from grade 10. This way we can instead of having pupils with no metric have students with grade 8 and skills. It could even be the same school just with a slightly different curriculum after grade 10 with a different metric exemption. We use to have wood work and steel work but these became a bit outdated. In america you have auto shop. Maybe these subjects wont allow you to study engineering on their own but combine two or three subjects like these focusing on skills rather than the academics of the subjects then SA could sit with a semi skilled workforse worh paying more.

  • Lebeko Merafe - 2015-01-06 15:59

    And how exactly to keep someone in the system who died due to an accident, or who have drowned or died due to circumcision ritual. Please enlighten me mec westerncape.

      Peter Storbeck - 2015-01-06 17:10

      Seriously?? ***Gob smacked at the ignorance of this comment.***

  • Jeeman Jeeman - 2015-01-06 17:49

    TJ please use than and then correctly please

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