No change expected in matric results

Little or no change was expected in this year’s matric results to be released tomorrow, education specialists said.

“I don’t think you will see any dramatic shift in this year’s matric results. We’ll see something similar to what we’ve seen in 2009,” head of the Wits School of Education Professor Ruksana Osman said today.

Referring to the Independent Examinations Board (IEB) results released today, Osman said private schools were achieving good results based on a combination of factors which include support for teachers, good school leadership and a supportive environment for pupils.

More than 98% of candidates passed this year’s National Senior Certificate (NSC) examination conducted by the IEB.

The 98.38% pass rate represented a one percent increase over 2009, IEB chief executive Anne Oberholzer said today.

This was the second consecutive pass rate increase.

In 2010, 8?285 pupils from 172 schools wrote the IEB National Senior Certificate exam – 153 more than in 2009.

Of those who passed 81.53% qualified for university entry while 14.45% qualified for entry to diploma studies and 2.4% qualified to study at higher certificate level.

Osman said the IEB results only represented a minority of South Africa’s pupils and the pass rate needed to be extended to more people.

She said public schools should put more emphasis on foundation education rather than matric results.

She, however, acknowledged a “paradigm shift” by the education department which was now focusing more on literacy and numeracy.

“There is a shift in thinking in the department of basic education. It started by the department acknowledging that there was something wrong.”

The outcomes of the shift would only be realised in five to 10 years time.

She also highlighted the negative affect that last year’s public service strike would have on matric results.

“The public sector strike will affect poor schools the most,” said Osman.

Independent education expert Graeme Bloch attributed the IEB pass rate to “well-ordered schools, organised teachers and pupils who are willing to learn”.

“Unfortunately it’s a small group of people. How do we extend the benefits to more schools?” asked Bloch.

Government, communities, non-governmental organisations and the business fraternity should work together to improve education in the country.

“Yes these children have done very well, but more should be done. Not enough kids are doing well,” said Bloch.

He expected matric results to drop by one percent this year due to the public service strike.

“I don’t think there will be dramatic changes, I predict a one percent drop.”

The strike, Bloch added, had taught pupils negative lessons, which should not be “swept under the carpet”.

“Kids learnt that teachers could threaten principals and learners. You cannot have that.”

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