Thursday, January 07, 2010

Matric pass rate drops yet again

So even the lowering of standards doesn’t seem to stem the tide. And if you still believe that this isn’t really happening, ask yourself why your qualifications obtained in South Africa means jack shit abroad. Or at least the majority of them.

I wonder if the masses of white teachers who left the country had any impact?

Related Article: School Pass Rate Drops For 6th Straight Year

From The Sowetan:

The matric pass rate for 2009 barely scraped past the 60% mark, continuing a steady decline Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga described as cause for “sleepless nights”.

Motshekga on Thursday blamed poor teaching and management in schools for the disappointing national pass rate of 60.7%, down from 62.5% in 2008 and 65.2% in 2007.

“Management in our schools is often weak and lacks leadership and commitment. Our systems are also often inefficient,” said the minister, who is phasing out much of the controversial outcomes-based education curriculum.

“(This year) we shall strengthen our interventions to ensure that the class of 2010 shows a significant improvement.”

KwaZulu-Natal was the only province where the pass rate improved — up 3.5% to 61.1%.

In Gauteng the pass rate fell from 76.4% in 2008 to 71.8, a sharp decline Education MEC Barbara Creecy described as “sobering”. She urged teachers and pupils to do better this year.

The Western Cape also failed to halt a downward slide that has taken it from 85% in 2004 to 75.7% in 2009. The Democratic Alliance run province also saw its number of matric exemptions fall from 33% to 31.9%.

Education MEC Donald Grant told reporters: “Not surprisingly, it has not been possible to reverse this decline in a very short period.” He pledged to make a special effort to improve secondary schooling on the Cape Flats.

“We simply cannot continue to have the intolerable situation where the majority of these schools are not in a position to provide the quality of education that all learners are entitled to.”

In the Eastern Cape the matric pass rate stabilised at 50 percent, leaving Mpumalanga at the bottom of the class with 45.9 percent.

The province managed to release its results at the same time as the rest of the country, despite reports that papers were leaked in an echo of similar irregularities in 2008 that saw officials sacked.

Motshekga said Umalusi, the quality assurance body for general and further education and training, “found no evidence of a systematic problem in Mpumalanga” and believed the results were credible.

Gauteng was not immune to reports of fraud, with Creecy saying 59 serious irregularities were being probed.

In Limpopo the pass rate dropped by over 5%, in Free State by 2.4%, in North West by 0.5% and in the Northern Cape by 11%.

Motshekga told reporters in Pretoria: “Saying we are unhappy is too mild. We’ve had sleepless nights and agonised".

“The National Senior Certificate is an important indicator of the quality of our education system, and as a country, we cannot afford to allow our young people to achieve results that are in the main average or below average.”

She said poor teaching was widespread, and singled out science as a subject that needed urgent attention.

In the Western Cape, only 52.9% of matrics passed the science paper compared to 71.2% in 2008.

Motshekga said officials in the provincial education departments must support schools in ensuring textbooks are supplied in time and standards upheld.

“They must ensure that real teaching and learning are taking place in all our schools from the beginning of the school year.”

She praised KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape for bucking the national downward trend despite having vast, desperately poor rural areas.

Opposition parties said the results confirmed a crisis in public education.

The DA said: “There can be no more important area of public policy for a developing country than the standards of education provided in its schools, so these dismal results show quite categorically that where it matters most, the ANC is failing South Africans.”

The Inkatha Freedom Party said the results “must be a wake-up call to government that urgent steps must be taken to address the critical shortcoming within our education system”.

The Independent Democrats described the results as “pathetic”.

Thobile Ntola, president of the SA Democratic Teachers’ Union, welcomed the increase of nearly 20,000 in the number of students who wrote matric, but added that the pass rate “gives grounds for serious concern”.

11 Opinion(s):

Dachshund said...

The ANC should do away with child grants for teenage girls who get pregnant. Too many of these girls go to school just to get knocked up. No wonder nobody's paying attention to academics with free sport like that on offer.

Islandshark said...

Those benefits have been creating a wave of teenage pregnancies in Britain too.

Why work if you can get pregnant at 16 and get free housing, utilities and other benefits?

Sakkie de Kok said...

Now, if you were running the country, and you wanted to stay in power, how would you go about it? Would you insist that people who can´t cut it at a certain level be failed? Or would you say, to hell with it, lets pass you guys because we like you and want to vote for us?
Would you say, if you get pregnant, that´s your responsibility? Or would you offer to give the soon to be voting delinquent a house and benefits at the white tax payers expense, knowing they would never turn their back on you, particularly when the opposition state quite categorically they wouldn´t support such a scheme?
Would you oppose immigration, legal or otherwise, knowing that the recipient of your policy, who will also be given a nice fat allowance every month that is bigger than anything he could ever earn working in the land he comes from, will be eternally grateful and keep you in power for as long as you look after him?
The truth is, any politician who behaves in such an unpatriotic manner should be tried for treason and executed immediately. Finished anf klar.

Islandshark said...

You've hit the nail on the head Sakkie...

Anonymous said...

Sakie I think that is the whole point to the excercise. You must reward failure and punish advancement. Make them dependant on the state for everything. Once they are hooked they can be controlled.

Dachshund said...

It's absolutely criminal I agree, Sakkie. That's the kind of morass unconditional socialism slides into.

Exzanian said...

Also remember, the "pass rate" is actually a failure rate. All that is required is 30% - Anyone who received such a poor result and is celebrating "passing matric" today is plain dumb, it's a zero sum achievement. My money is on the vast majority falling into this category. Maar nou ja spiesie, have fun tonight while you tell yourself how clever you are, tomorrow you will be extorting 2 bob from a law abiding citizen to "guard" the car.

Vanilla Ice said...

There's a marketing lesson to be had here. I posted a similar article, and it didn't seem to work.

Must have been the DNA strand I used. Oh well, I reposted the image of the Min. of Education.

Françoise said...

Could anyone point me to a document on the web giving a definition of what "passing" means? Is it really only 30% or more? This is a bit strange to most foreign readers.

Also, I'm a bit lost, how many different maths exams in Grade 12 ("matrics") are there these days?

Higher Grade, standard grade, literacy ?

How many people passed the higher grade this year? How many whites ? Blacks ? How many with a C+ ? I know there were only 700 blacks pupils with C+ in maths higher grade in 2007.

Is a C+ still about what is needed to be admitted in technical or commercial courses at university?

Françoise said...

(Found a lot of what I needed here : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Senior_Certificate#Pass_Mark)

Anonymous said...

A son of a friend completed Matric last year with an A (attended a private school in SA). He applied to Uni in Oz and was told he had to repeat grade 12 in Oz before he would be accepted into his course! That's how useless our matric results have become.