Cape Town - The principal of a Cape Town school where the matric pass rate dropped by more than 40% has vowed to overturn the poor results.
Dominic Maruping, the headmaster of Sizimisele Technical High School in Khayelitsha, on Wednesday said while he was devastated that his class of 2016 only managed a pass rate of 34.1%, progress will be made this year.
International relations and co-operation Deputy Minister Nomaindia Mfeketo visited the school on Wednesday and expressed concern over the disappointing outcome in last year's exams.
The school achieved a 78.5% pass rate in 2015. Maruping explained that the school had a decade of instability; this included the school bussing pupils as far as Strand, more than 20km away, because there was no school building in Khayelitsha.
In 2008, the current building became available and the department offered it to Sizimisele on condition that the institution becomes a technical high school.
"This means that all pupils have to do pure maths and physical science. Our Grade 12s of 2016 were the first class to write their finals with this criteria and the outcome wasn't good," he acknowledged.
Extra lessons planned
Ninety pupils wrote mathematics and only 16 passed. Of the 75 who wrote physical science, nine met the criteria to pass.
Maruping said while he was devastated that the pass rate had plummeted, he was hopeful that his students would do better this year.
However, challenges such as insufficient teachers in the required technical subjects and being forced to promote failing pupils to the next grade after two years were hampering the school's progress, he told Mfeketo.
He said to ensure that pupils are better prepared for their finals exams, tutoring sessions and extra lessons will be incorporated into the school day to help them grasp technical subjects.
"Our pupils want to do better, but need that extra help to get there. When we implemented the tutoring sessions last year, our parents were unable to cover the costs as most are from disadvantaged backgrounds. This year we will just simply have to make it work," Maruping said.