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Reaction to 2011 Matric results

Reaction to South Africa’s 2011 matric results have been varied. The 70.2 % national senior certificate pass rate was welcomed by government and some analysts. This positive response was understandable given that it is the first time since 2004 that more than 70 % of students passed.

However many analysts sketched a different picture. The total number of matric candidates dropped from 537 543 in 2010 to 496 090 in 2011. This means a drop of 8% or 41 453 students. Another statistic analysts pointed out is that of the 923 463 students that started grade 1 in the year 2000, only 496090 sat for the matric exams in 2011, which means the “true pass rate” is actually 38 %.

Afriforum pinned the problem on the lack of mother-tongue education, while Jonathan Clarke told the Mail & Guardian that there is anecdotal evidence that schools are rushing low achieving students through lower grades and then hold them back in Grade 10 or 11. Other analysts criticised the low level at which matric can be passed. To pass matric students had to achieve 40 % in their home language, 40 % in two other subjects and 30% in three subjects.

To read more go to Greg Nicolson’s article on DailyMaverick by Clicking Here!

To read Michelle Jones’ article in the Cape Times Click Here!

 To read Jonathan Jansen’s article on IOL news Click Here!

To read Faranaaz Parker’s article in the Mail & Guardian Click Here!

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Pupils from Model C schools doing better

The latest South Africa Survey recently released by the South African Institute for Race Relations have found amongst others that Model C schools (former whites-only schools) were still setting the pace for quality education. Race was found to be less important as a factor of scholastic achievement than the type of school a child attends. The matric rate for blacks in Model C schools in 2009 was 88%, compared to only 55% overall in all government schools. Coloured pupils in Model C schools achieved an 88 % pass rate compared to 76% overall while Indian pupils achieved 98 % compared to 92 % overall.

To read more go to Deon de Lange’s Mercury article on IOL by Clicking Here!

Results of South African matrics are up by 7%

South African students writing the national matric exams in 2010 managed to score a 67.8% pass rate – a 7.2 % improvement on the results from 2009, despite schooldays lost to the Fifa Soccer World Cup and the prolonged public servant’s strike in 2010.

All the provinces registered a marked improvement on the 2009 results:

  • Gauteng: 78.6% (71.8% in 2009)
  • Western Cape: 76.8% (75.7% in 2009)
  • North West: 75.7% (67.5% in 2009)
  • Northern Cape: 72.3% (61% in 2009)
  • KwaZulu-Natal: 70.7% (61.1% in 2009)
  • Free State: 70.7% (69.4% in 2009)
  • Eastern Cape: 58.3% (51% in 2009)
  • Limpopo: 57.9% (48.9% in 2009)
  • Mpumalanga: 56.8% (47.9% in 2009)

Education specialists though are divided on the question of whether such an unexpectedly huge improvement is educationally both believable and reliable as a true indicator of pupils’ aptitudes.

Questions also remain about the performance of children in rural and township schools, in particular whether these  disadvantaged pupils recorded similarly vast increases in achievement.

To read more:
Go to the article on MediaClubSouthAfrica.com by Clicking Here!
Go to David MacFarlane and Kamogelo Seekoei’s article in the Mail and Guardian by Clicking Here!

Click Here to read the SA government’s Report on the National Senior Certificate Examination Results
All the results and profiles of the top schools and students can be found at  IEB microsite

South African matric is a good solid qualification, according to Umalusi

South Africa’s matric is “exactly where it should be”, according to research comparing it to foreign qualifications, education monitoring body Umalusi says.

“The South African public can be reassured that the National Senior Certificate (NSC) is a good, solid, robust qualification,” Elizabeth Burroughs, a senior manager at Umalusi, said in Johannesburg at the release of a report on the international standing of South Africa’s matric.

To read more go to the Sapa article on Times Live by Clicking Here!

To read the Umalusi Report Click Here!

South African pupils too old for school?

A recent national household survey on Access to education undertaken by Social Surveys Africa and the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (Cals) suggests that 10 % of pupils across all grades are three or more years outside the age-grade norm. Only 4% of children aged seven to 18 are not in school though.

This raises a question: if 96 % of our children are in school, why are our matric completion rates so dismal?  The survey showed that one of the reasons we have such high attendance rates for the ages seven to 18 is that learners take a long time to get through the schooling system. Just because you are in school at the age of 18 does not mean you are in grade 12.

To read more go to Sarah Meny-Gibert’ analysis in the Mail & Guardian by Clicking Here! 

To access the report of the Survey Click Here!

President Jacob Zuma places education and skills development at the centre of the South African government’s policies

South African President Jacob Zuma, placed education and skills development at the centre of the South African government’s policies in his State of the Nation Address on 11 February 2010. He announced a number of key activities that will be undertaken to achieve this.

In the government’s 2010 programme, it wants to improve the ability of children to read, write and count in the foundation years. 
The government wants learners and teachers to be in school, in class, on time, learning and teaching for seven hours a day. Teachers will be assisted by providing detailed daily lesson plans. Students will be provided with easy-to-use workbooks in all 11 languages.

Zuma also announced that from this year onwards, all grade 3, 6 and 9 students will write literacy and numeracy tests that are independently moderated. The aim is to increase the pass rate for these tests from the current average of between 35 and 40% to at least 60% by 2014. Results will be sent to parents to track progress.

In addition, each of the country’s 27 000 schools will be assessed by officials from the Department of Basic Education. This will be recorded in an auditable written report.

The government aims to increase the number of matric students who are eligible for university admission to 175 000 a year by 2014,  he continued.
He urged parents to cooperate with the government in making this a success. He also welcomed last month’s statement by the three teacher unions, NAPTOSA, SADTU and SAOU, reaffirming their commitment to the Quality Learning and Teaching Campaign from the beginning of 2010.

Zuma further stressed the need to invest in the youth to ensure a skilled and capable workforce to support growth and job creation. He then announced a plan to increase the training of 16-25 year olds in further education and training facilities to provide a second chance at education, for those who do not qualify for university.

The government is working with higher education institutions to ensure that eligible students obtain financial assistance, through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, he said.

He also announced that the government has set ambitious targets for skills development, to produce additional engineers and technicians, and to increase the number of qualified mathematics and science teachers.

Zuma also stressed that the number of youth who enter learnerships in the private and public sectors, should be increased.

To read the full State of the Nation Address on IOL Click Here!

Minister of Basic Education cracks the whip on Matric results

“The decline in the national matric pass rate of 62.5 % to 60.6 % is marginal but depressing”, the South African Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga recently said after the release of the 2009 matric results. According to her she is disappointed and has sleepless nights because the Department of Basic Education is not where is should be.

The 2009 pass rates for the respective provinces were as follows:

  • Western Cape: 75.7%
  • Gauteng: 71.8 %
  • Free State: 69.4 %
  • Northwest: 67.5 %
  • Northern Cape: 61.3 %
  • KwaZulu-Natal: 61.1 %
  • Eastern Cape: 51 %
  • Limpopo: 48.9 %
  • Mpumalanga: 47.9%

She announced a sectoral blueprint plan that will be developed before the end of March 2010, to ensure a turn around of the education system, and to address ineffective education.

She said urgent steps are needed to improve the quality of education. Schools and teachers need more and better support and training, and better infrastructure and timely delivery of handbooks. Motshekga also suggested direct interventions in schools and the co-opting of experts that can help strenghten systems.

To read the original article written by Alet Rademeyer in Afrikaans in the Beeld Newspaper Click Here!