KZN Education MEC happy with 3.3% increase in matric pass rate

2019-01-04 14:34
School classroom. (Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)

School classroom. (Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)

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Despite a matric pass rate lower than the national average, KwaZulu-Natal is on an upward trajectory, Education MEC Mthandeni Dlungwana said on Friday.

"We are happy to announce that, for the third time in a row, we have successfully increased the provincial pass rate. Our overall pass percentage for 2018 stands at 76.2%, which is a 3.3 % increase from the results of 2017."

This was, however, still below the national average of 78.2%.

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"The 2018 performance shows that, as a province, we have necessary systems in place which we will continue to strengthen. As we keep saying, we are indeed on the right track. With this strong foundation, we are aiming at nothing below an 80% pass rate this year."

The province had 116 152 full-time candidates and 13 103 Adult Education and Training (AET) candidates writing examinations, a number that was the highest in the country, Dlungwana said.

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KwaZulu-Natal had 38 573 pupils who achieved bachelor passes. This translated to 33.2% of the total number of full-time candidates for 2018, compared to 28.7% in 2017.

Of the 12 districts in the province, all achieved an above 70% pass rate, with the highest coming from the Amajuba district, which achieved an 81.7% pass rate.

While Dlungwana said there had been an increase in Mathematics passes since 2016, the rate still stood at a dismal 50.6% in 2018. In Physical Science, the province stood at a 73.6% pass rate in 2018.

The number of schools achieving 100% pass rates also increased, with 121 schools showing zero failures.

Vandalism and crime

Dlungwana said that the issue of vandalism and theft still presented KwaZulu-Natal with serious challenges.

"We saw an increase in the number of reported cases of this heinous act. We have tried our best to quell this bad conduct from some community members and we still are sounding a warning to those who continue doing it."

He said that, in May last year, there was an act of arson committed at Ebangunini High School.

"This, good people, has no place in our democratic country. We need everyone to take very seriously, and respect, education by ensuring that all the educational facilities are protected."

He said there were major issues at eMyezaneni High School, where there had been serious theft and damage every year.

Dlungwana said that, shortly after delivering learning and teaching support material, it had been stolen.

"We are pleading with the communities to work with us so that people who are the enemies of progress are exposed and be dealt with accordingly."

Dlungwana said the department also had to move 260 Grade 12 learners from four high schools in the Engonyameni area due to service delivery protests.

"We moved those learners to Vukuzakhe High School in order to ensure that they write their examinations without any interruptions."

Sanitary towels initiative

Dlungwana also said that the provision of sanitary towels to female pupils had been a success.

"Our interactions with a variety of our stakeholders, including parents, have proved to us that the introduction of this programme has had a huge impact in ensuring that no girl learner misses any school day as a result of not being able to afford sanitary towels."

He added that national government would following suit, with the introduction of this programme in all the provinces.

"Our team that is facilitating the distribution of sanitary towels in KwaZulu-Natal has had meetings with the representatives from the Presidency who are keen to learn from this province."

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