Gauteng the 'elephant' that stood tall - Motshekga

2017-01-05 20:29
Angie Motshekga. (Nico Gous, Netwerk24)

Angie Motshekga. (Nico Gous, Netwerk24)

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Johannesburg - Despite its small size geographically, Gauteng’s matric results ensured it stood tall among bigger provinces with similar numbers of pupils, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said on Thursday.

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The province was an elephant carrying a heavy load with dignity, while keeping up with other elephants - namely the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo - she said at an awards ceremony for Gauteng pupils in Daveyton.

At the same time, Gauteng was doing a good job of keeping up with the "springboks" - the other smaller provinces.

Gauteng was the third best performing province in the country, after the Free State and Western Cape. It recorded an 85.12% pass rate, which included progressed learners. Its pass rate, excluding progressed learners, was 87%.

Progressed pupils are those who are promoted to matric, despite failing Grade 11 repeatedly.

Motshekga told Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi and the provincial department that they had managed to consistently provide good results.

"What we don’t celebrate is the fact that Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal are the two provinces that also contribute in inclusive education," Motshekga said.

She said Gauteng was forced to adopt pupils who migrated from other provinces. Pupils from Vuwani, Limpopo, were coming to Gauteng, which put pressure on the province’s education system. Dozens of schools in Vuwani were destroyed during protests against a municipal demarcation decision in 2016.

Highest number of progressed pupils

Gauteng had the highest number of schools in the country catering to pupils facing barriers to learning, which was commendable, she said.

Lesufi said Gauteng had recorded the highest number of bachelor’s passes in the country. This meant that 36% of the 103 829 pupils who had qualified to write the matric exams had gained access to higher education. A total of 34.5% of matrics got a diploma pass.

Of the pupils who started Grade 1 in Gauteng in 2005, 72% had made it to matric.

Gauteng’s best-performing district was Gauteng West and its best-performing municipality was the West Rand Municipal District. Both achieved 91.2% pass rates.

The province had the highest number of progressed pupils in the country, Lesufi said. Out of the 11 596 who were progressed from Grade 11, 61% passed matric. Of that 61%, around 9% got bachelor’s passes and over 30% diploma passes.

Motshekga defended the practice of "progressing" pupils. They needed to be given help and the opportunity to improve themselves before they got too old for school. Failing them would breed frustration, which would probably result in them dropping out of school, she said.

She cited research that the country’s schooling system had a bottleneck in the senior phase. More pupils were failing to leave the system, which was why progression was important.

Based on the current state of the education system, the bottleneck would only be cleared in 2030, Motshekga said.

Read more on:    angie motshekga  |  johannesburg  |  education  |  matric 2016

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