0% pass rate schools shock

(Duncan Alfreds, News24)
(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Pietermaritzburg - The principals of KZN schools that received zero percent pass rates for the 2015 matric exams will have to explain their pupils’ performances to officials, the Education Department said on Monday.

It was reported last week that of the 22 schools in the country that received zero percent pass rates for the exams, 12 were from KZN, with five being in the uMgungundlovu District.

However, KZN Education Department spokesperson Sihle Mlotshwa said 14 KZN schools received zero percent pass rates, not 12 as was initially reported.

Yesterday, a press statement released by DA MP Gavin Davis said the statistics came from data taken from the Basic Education Department’s performance report. “The number of zero percent pass rates in schools increased by six this year from 16 in 2014 and nine in 2013.”

He said he acknowledged that only one or two pupils wrote the exams at some of these schools.

However, Davis said 10 or more pupils had written the national exams in at least 14 of the 22 schools where no pupils passed.

“At Kwabhamu Secondary in KwaZulu-Natal, for example, 37 pupils wrote and failed the 2015 matric exams.

“This is a shocking state of affairs, whichever way you look at it,” said Davis.

“We believe that the right to a decent basic education enshrined in our Constitution is being denied to the children at these schools.”

Davis said the party would ask South African Human Rights Commission chairperson Lawrence Mushwana to investigate whether these schools had violated the rights of their pupils to a decent education.

“No child deserves to go to a school that cannot produce a single matric pass,” said Davis.

“The performance of these schools is an affront to the dignity of every child that attends them.”

Mlotshwa said the matter would not be taken lightly and the principals of the schools had some “explaining” to do.

“As the year begins, we are going to zoom into these schools with a view of correcting the situation and helping them along the way,” said Mlotshwa.

“We are also going to have surprise visits at these schools, where we will witness first-hand their culture and ethos.

“We are very disappointed with the non-performance of these schools.

“The principals of these schools need to explain to us exactly what happened for them to fail at passing even one pupil,” he added.

• chelsea.pieterse@witness.co.za

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