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SACP Eastern Cape welcomes Matric Results 'though more still needs to be done'

Jan 5, 2018
SACP Eastern Cape welcomes Matric Results 'though more still needs to be done'

The South African Communist Party (SACP) in the Eastern Cape on Friday while congratulating the National Senior Certificate (NSC) class of 2017, said that more still needs to be done to improve the standard and the outcomes in Basic Education as a whole.

"While the assessment and performance of the Basic Education system in its entirety remains critical, Matric results and achievements have additional far reaching implications in that they are a gateway to job opportunities as well as access to higher education opportunities," described SACP Eastern Cape Provincial Spokesperson, Siyabonga Mdodi.

"As a class party, the SACP is therefore particularly interested in ensuring that children from working class families are afforded a decent opportunity of succeeding in life - access to quality education has proven to be that important on that regard."

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He said that the NSC results as released by the Minister of Basic Education: Angie Motshekga on the 4th of January 2017 reflect that the Basic Education system is maturing, and that support provided to those, who are most needy is beginning to bear fruits.

"The performance improvement displayed by rural provinces, namely the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo, although much more still needs to be done but it is pleasing, given that 51.5% of the candidates who sat for the 2017 NSC examinations come from these three rural provinces," Mdodi said.

"The SACP notes with glee that evidence is proving that widening access for the poor does not compromise quality, it is reported that in 2017, no fee schools produced 53% of the Bachelor passes (compared to 52% in 2016, and 51% in 2015); while fee paying schools produced 47% Bachelor passes (compared to 48% in 2016, and 49% in 2015).

"It is further worth noting that 79.7% of the learners who were recipients of some form of social grants passed their 2017 NSC examinations. 5 016 of them achieved Bachelor passes; 5 997 achieved Diploma passes; 2 863 achieved Higher Certificate passes; and 2 achieved NSC passes."

Eastern Cape Matric Results 2017

The SACP in the Eastern Cape said that it applauds the improvement, "which came as a result of all the education stakeholders from MEC Mandla Makupula, officials, teachers, unions, parents, communities, SGB’s and most importantly learners".

"These efforts have seen the Province improving for the second year in a row, with 2017 the pass rate having improved by 5,7% to 65%. This is a highly encouraging observation, given that that Bachelors Study Passes also increased from 17,6% in 2016 to 22,7% in 2017," Mdodi said.

"We have noted in the recent past reports that some schools have at times tended to either not promote learners to Grade 12, or have discouraged them from doing Maths and Physical Science.

"This has been attributed to artificial competition between schools, Districts and Provinces.

"It is remarkable to note that the supposedly 'progressed' learners have performed well, and that the pass rate for both Maths and Physical Science has improved with 4.8% and 7.7% respectively if compared against 2016 outcomes."

He said that for a considerable number of years in the Eastern Cape, it has been concerning that Districts in the rural areas with concentrated poverty have been lagging behind in terms of performance.

"Their improvement in 2017 is encouraging. Examples of this can be made of Alfred Nzo East (7.1% improvement); Chris Hani East (9.0% improvement) and O R Tambo Inland (14.9% improvement). Again, in this regard much more is required."

What can be done to better education in the Eastern Cape

"We believe that a lot more still needs to be done to improve the standard and the outcomes in our Basic Education as a whole. We believe that our focus should not be confined to the final Matric Examinations outcomes, but to the Basic Education System in its entirety.

"We hold that all stakeholders should, at the end of every academic year, receive a full account of an entire cohort which started schooling in a particular year," Mdodi added.

"These reports should depict the number of learners who have started schooling, the number that has progressed to Secondary school phase, as well as the number that has sat for the final Matric Examinations from the very same cohort.

"It is of utmost importance that that the Foundation Phase is integrated to the Primary and Secondary phases for the establishment of a coherent Basic Education."

He said that the transformation of the Basic Education system as whole should also transcend to the transformation of the Higher Education system, with particular reference to University entry requirements, as the current requirements continue to exclude the children from the working class families.

"We are firm in our view that Government should do more in improving the conditions of schools in the rural areas and townships. Those schools should be turned around from being mere classrooms into being complete schools with all the necessary facilities to harness success.

"Deliberate interventions must be intensified towards undermining the narrative of ‘resourced areas’ and schools having all the resources and infrastructure while their counterparts on the country are disadvantaged by the very same system," Mdodi said.

"We are of a strong view that the Post Provisioning Norms (PPN) should be reviewed, as they are but one disadvantageous factor to the children of the working class. The policy is the main cause of the shortages of educators and the closure of schools, which results to children traveling long distances and having less time to study outside the classroom.

"It is our considered view that the Department of Education should focus on its core mandate which is teaching and learning. It should not be overloaded with other responsibilities which require large procurements. These additional responsibilities have corrupted the department and invited some greedy political elements to target certain individuals in the guise of acting in the best interests of education, whilst they are chasing tenders."

He said that the responsibilities such as school nutrition, infrastructure and procurement of school furniture should be allocated to the relevant sister Departments - an exercise which will allow the Department of Education to focus on education.

"We reiterate our long-held view that children of all public representatives and public officials should attend public schools with reference to those schools within quintile 1 -3, in the townships and rural areas."