We have improved, but more must be done – KZN Education MEC

Top achieving KNZ matrics pose with education department officials. (Amanda Khoza, News24)
Top achieving KNZ matrics pose with education department officials. (Amanda Khoza, News24)

Durban - KwaZulu-Natal Education MEC Mthandeni Dlungwana on Thursday said that while the province had turned the corner in improving its matric results, much still needed to be done.

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"The current administration will go down in history as an administration which was decisive. Where there is evidence of failure to manage there will be immediate consequences," said Dlungwana.

He later went on to say: "We view 2016 achievements only as a turning point for KwaZulu-Natal and a beginning of the province’s upward journey to its rightful place among the best performing provinces. Hence, we need to keep our celebrations very short."

He was speaking at the release of the province's 2016 National Senior Certificate results at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban.

Dlungwana told the gathering that the department aimed to increase the 2016 pass rate of 66.4%.

Zero percent schools

The province performed poorly in 2015, only achieving 60.7%.

"In the best interest of the province… we need to take sober decisions and decisive steps regarding the districts that have consistently not achieved the required results, in spite of numerous interventions and resources provided."

Here is the ranking of the districts in the province:

  • 1. Amajuba - 77.4% pass rate
  • 2. Umgungundlovu - 76.38%
  • 3. Umlazi - 74.42%
  • 4. Umkhanyakude - 69.17%
  • 5. Uthukela - 67.7%
  • 6. Pinetown - 66.38%
  • 7. Ugu - 65.39%
  • 8. Harry Gwala - 63.79%
  • 9. King Cetshwayo - 63.42%
  • 10. Umzinyathi - 58.13%
  • 11. Zululand - 57.97%
  • 12. Ilembe - 52.42%

A total of 85 schools achieved a 100% pass rate, while nine had a 0% pass rates.

Dlungwana said several changes would be made in the education system to ensure that the province raised its pass mark.

"It is with deep embarrassment, disappointment and disbelief that, in 2016, the province had nine schools that obtained 0% pass rate. The number of 0% pass rate schools only decreased by five, from the 14 schools in 2015."

He said the 215 schools that recorded a 30% pass rate and below in 2016, compared to the 308 schools in 2015, remained a serious cause for concern, and drastic measures needed to be implemented immediately to move all of them to 50% and above.

Referring to the group copying scandal in which the province was first implicated in 2014, he said there were schools that were still under investigation.  

"The number of implicated schools has decreased from 12 in 2015 to only four in 2016… those that will be found guilty must be punished accordingly."

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