Worst schools still bad

2018-01-15 13:45
Under-performing schools in the province 'not getting required support'.

Under-performing schools in the province 'not getting required support'. (File)

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A Pietermaritzburg school with a matric exam pass rate below 40% for the past six years was again one of the worst performing schools in the province last year.

Isibani Academy in Church Street had a 34% pass rate in 2016, with only 17 passes out of 50 pupils who wrote their national senior certificate examinations.

In 2017 only six pupils out of the 25 who wrote the exams passed, dropping the school’s overall rate to 24%.

Isibani Academy is one of 13 schools in the province that have had an overall pass rate below 40% for the past five years. In 2016, Sizamiseni High School in the Ilembe District was featured in the list of schools that achieved a zero percent pass rate. In 2016, the school had 25 matric pupils and 21 last year. Only two were successful, bringing the overall pass rate percentage to 12,5%.

Mshiyane High School in Shangase Village went from 9,52% in 2016 to 16,67% last year. Out of 21 pupils who wrote their examinations in 2016, only two passed. Last year, six pupils wrote their examinations and only one was successful. The school has been below 40% for the past seven years.

Somshoko Secondary School in Mandeni regressed from 23,08% in 2016 to 19,05% last year. Only eight pupils passed while 34 failed.

National African Teachers’ Union (Natu) deputy president Allen Thompson said the underperforming schools, particularly in rural areas, were not getting the required support.

“Every time, after three months teachers apply for transfers because there is no incentive to keep the suitably qualified teachers. Pupils are being taught by four different teachers in one year and that contributes to the low pass rate.”

Thompson added that the union had requested an urgent meeting on the issues.

Meanwhile, the DA in KZN says it is disappointed that the worst performing schools in the province are not part of the provincial legislature’s annual schools functionality visits, scheduled to take place this week.

“The KZN Legislature has a constitutional and moral mandate to investigate these schools. They have continuously failed the pupils that they are supposed to serve. Their ongoing underperformance is indicative of structural, administrative and teaching deficiencies,” said the DA’s spokesperson on education, Rishigen Viranna.

However, KZN legislature education portfolio committee chairperson Linda Hlongwa-Madlala said the annual schools functionality visit was a comprehensive programme covering performing and underperforming schools.

“It is important to visit performing schools in order to get a better understanding of the elements that make them excel as one needs that kind of information when doing oversight in underperforming schools,” she said.

KZN Education spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi said: “Tomorrow [Monday] the MEC and senior management will have a meeting where an improvement plan for schools that underperformed will be presented.”

• nokuthula.khanyile@media24.com
Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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