Urgent education intervention needed in Northern Cape

Henry

This year, the Northern Cape occupies the unenviable last place in terms of the pass rate for the National Senior Certificate examination, with 75.8% of learners in this province passing.

This is indeed an improvement of 1.2% from the year before.

Namakwa is the education district in this province with the best performance: a total of 81.6% of learners here passed.

Dr. Izak Fritz, the DA’s premier candidate in the province, congratulated the learners and teachers whose hard work and dedication paid off, on their achievements.

He especially praised the school community of the Elizabeth Conradie School in Kimberley – which boasts a pass rate of 95.25% – and says the achievement was achieved despite the many additional challenges that the Covid-19 pandemic has created for learners with special needs .

“Unfortunately, incidents of individual excellence are overshadowed by systemic failures and evidence of a system that urgently needs to be saved.”

Fritz says education in the province has gone off the rails and the Northern Cape now finds itself at the very bottom of the provincial standings.

“If you count the number gr. Taking into account 10 learners who enrolled in 2021 and left school before taking the matric examination in 2023, the actual pass rate in the Northern Cape is only 42.8%.

“It can be no surprise when 81% of gr. 4-learners and 56% of gr. 6 learners cannot read with understanding.”

Fritz says now it’s time to go back to the drawing board. “We need to equip principals, deputy principals and subject heads with the specialized management skills needed to achieve educational success.

“It is also non-negotiable that all educators have a true passion for the profession.

“We need to repair schools’ infrastructure, create safe dormitory spaces and provide reliable learner transport,” says Fritz.

The Solidarity School Support Center (SOS) also said earlier that performing schools, also in less privileged communities, prove that good management, competent teachers and learners encouraged by their communities can have a significant effect.

Fritz also believes that it is important for communities to take ownership of schools and support learners in their neighborhoods.

“Socio-economic constraints contribute to the higher dropout rate and high rate of teenage pregnancy in the province. The cost of living crisis makes everyday life almost unaffordable for many families. It is important that neighbors help each other as and when they can.”