Class of 2014: Matric results, a reflection deep seated inequalities in education - SACP

JANUARY 6, 2015

The South African Communist Party (SACP) in the Eastern Cape on Tuesday said that it welcomed the outcomes of the 2014 Matric Examinations as announced – but noted that the results reveal a “deep seated inequalities in education”.

“Our province has once more moved from 64.9 % pass rate in 2013 to 65.4 % in 2014, which in our view is a sustained improvement building from that of 2012 and 2013,” SACP EC Provincial Spokesperson, Siyabonga Mdodi, said in a statement.   

“This is the third year in a row wherein our province is registering improvement. It is in this context that we would like to congratulate the Department of Education and all relevant stakeholders in the Education fraternity who took greater responsibility in ensuring the improvement we are now seeing.

“We would like to applaud the good leadership shown by MEC Mandla Makupula and the collective he is working with, since he took over in the department there has been a sustained improvement. We trust that he will continue with the good work he is doing.”

Class differences

He, however, said that the matric results illustrate class disparities in present-day South Africa.

“It is our firm view that these matric results once more illustrate a story of a two pronged education system, where education for haves and have-nots is vivid.

“We should all look unto the matric results beyond numbers and percentages and appreciate that we are speaking of people from different social backgrounds. It should be a common cause that; it is virtually impossible to compare academic performance of a child from a school in a deep rural area with no infrastructure, to a learner from a well-resourced urban school,” Mdodi said.

“You cannot compare them because playing fields are not levelled. The current situation deprives the working class children who in majority are black an equal opportunity to success and qualitative education.”

He called for more effort in improving the schools infrastructure in the poor communities, ensuring the availability of fully functioning libraries, computer laboratories with internet to increase research capacity, enough educators, improved scholar nutrition, well-resourced and functioning laboratories, adequate scholar transport, etc.

“This will go a long way in ensuring that every child regardless of class or race gets has equivalent and non-discriminatory prospect to success. The working class schools between quintiles 1, 2 and 3 should be developed and highly equipped to meet the standard of the upper ranked schools between quintiles 4 and 5,” Mdodi said.

“The issue of classes in our country should not be hidden behind numbers and percentages, as these numbers and percentages when looked close are telling exactly a case of two pronged system. It is our firm view that an issue of matric results is not a beauty contest of statistics and numbers but a sensitive issue of lives of young people with ambitions and dreams and the kind of future society we wish to build, and we should therefore end all inequalities in the education system.”

He said another variable that should not be overlooked in the issue of matric results is the qualitative output of those who sat for the National Senior Certificate Examination consistent with our objectives of building a developmental state.

“The qualitative output should be our basis for the development of our country as we should work towards nurturing the skills we require for us to implement our developmental policies. The announcement of matric results as it stands does not give a proper account on how as the country, we are building a solid foundation towards the country we envisage. It also does not account for those who have dropped out due to many social challenges,” argues Mdodi.

Group cheating scandal

While congratulating learners who passed their Matrics, he said that the SACP in the Eastern Cape would like the Department of Education to speedily put the matter of the alleged cheating and copying in some writing centres into closure and bring all those who might have committed this corrupt practice to book.

“The matter should not be allowed to delay nor taint the future of our children,” Mdodi said.

“We call on the institutions of Higher Learning and training to ensure that these students receive all the necessary support in enrolling. Parents must also encourage their children to enrol with the FET Colleges for skills development; if we are to embark on massive skills development it would mean de-stigmatization of our FET Colleges.

“We, the SACP recommit ourselves to working even harder with the people of the province to ensure that we receive better results in 2015 academic year. Let us all commit in making education a societal matter.”