At least eight Eastern Cape schools are under investigation for alleged irregularities which led to their 2019 matric results being withheld.
According to the provincial department of education’s own technical report, four schools were recorded to have received a 0% pass rate but the province insists that no school obtained 0%.
“I am pleased to confirm that there is no school in the Eastern Cape scoring 0% in 2019,” said MEC of education in the province, Fundile Gade this week.
The provincial education spokesperson, Malibongwe Mtima, said all the schools that were recorded to have obtained zero percent in the technical report for the 2019 national senior certificate had their results withheld due to irregularities.
“We have withheld the results of all the schools that have allegations of irregularities across the province. It is the government policy that schools implicated in irregularities should have their results withheld until those allegations have been cleared. The fact that they recorded 0% achievement means that results are withheld. The policy states that you cannot have results where there is a dispute,” said Mtima.
“Investigations are under way in those schools that are implicated in irregularities. There are about eight schools that are being investigated. The investigation is being conducted by Umalusi, the department of basic education and ourselves as a province. We are attending to the matter as speedily as we can so that learners can know what their future holds,” he said.
Mtima could not elaborate on the nature of the investigation or what irregularities these schools had committed.
Schools which had 0% pass include Dolophini Senior Secondary School, where a total of 14 pupils sat for the final examinations. Hoho Senior Secondary School had 22 pupils who wrote the matric exams, and eight wrote them at Ngubesizwe Senior Secondary School.
Mtima said these were among the eight that were being investigated for irregularities.
Meanwhile, former president Nelson Mandela’s old school Healdtown was among the 10 worst performing schools in the province, gaining only a 25% pass rate.
Mandela obtained his matric at Healdtown and its prominent alumni include former PAC leader and founder Robert Sobukwe and former ANC leader Raymond Mhlaba.
The Eastern Cape recorded the most improved results in the class of 2019 by 5.9% from 70.6% to 76.5%.
“This is a fourth year in succession of national senior certificate results improvement in the Eastern Cape since 2015,” said Gade.
The MEC said in total there were 63 195 fulltime candidates in 2019 and 48 331 passed.
The number of bachelors improved from 22.7% in 2017 to 32.3% in 2019 while the Nelson Mandela Bay District obtained the highest percentage of bachelors passes at 39.2%.
Gade attributed the improvement in the results to the department’s transformation plan, which was introduced four years ago.
He said in 2019 the department took extraordinary steps to ensure that basic requirements for effective teaching are in place by making sure that, every teacher is in class and teaching, every pupils has a textbook for all subjects and has a chair and a place to write.
Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane said they would now place special focus on mathematics, science, technology and accounting as these were areas that would make the Eastern Cape relevant in reengineering the economic development of the province in line with its development goals.
“When we assumed office as the sixth administration in June we committed to achieve two objectives. Firstly, we vowed to ensure that the province does not go below 70% in matric pass rate during this term. Secondly, we emphasised that we want quality outcomes rather than quantity outcomes,” he said.