The Eastern Cape trails right at the back again with its lowest 64.9% Matric pass rate….With nine school achieving a 0% pass, what is that? Is that even possible?
Okay so the minister of education announced the provincial matric results today. Not a big event nothing to write home about unless you are one of the students who will be later awarded as top achievers, excelling with up to 11 distinctions etc. A good day indeed, but I think I a generally a negative person. I really don’t find joy in celebrating mediocre. Not taking anything away from the learners who aced all those papers round of applause I mean they deserve that over and above the blackberries and the scholarships that they will be getting. What really got me write this maybe I think is one of two things that the minister of education mentioned in her speech, while addressing the class of 2013 , their parents,minister,officials as well as us the general public. I am not a journalist and I swear I do celebrate success, I don’t find satisfaction in pointing out the negatives, BUT.
The matric class of 2013 achieved a pass rate of 78.2%, the results bettered the 2012 pas rate of 73.9%, (that’s good right not surprising just good) the minister went on to say “Best matric results since 1994”. I mean hello I wouldn’t have expected anything less since a lot has changed its 20 years later by the way so improvement is guaranteed, but when she mentioned something about the old versus new administration I lost interest, who cares? Since when is education about who is the better minister aren’t they all from the same organisation should it matter who outperformed who. By the way if my memory serves me tight 4 years ago which I’m assuming was the time of the prior administration which apparently failed, the pass rate was 50% and not 30%.In my small mind I’m thinking the prior administration did a better job then. I mean if the pass rate is 30% now how many learners do qualify to study at varsity? So plunging the pass rate from 50% to 30% is something worthy of celebrations?
So the Eastern Cape takes the last position at 64% and people on twitter have countless ideas as to what needs to happen in the Eastern Cape to get the passing rates on par with the rest of other provinces. I wonder though what are the issues taken into consideration when working out these statistics. Fair enough the Frees State is number one, but what is the size of the population in Free State in comparison to the Eastern Cape. Did anyone take the time to look at the mud schools surrounding the Eastern Cape, how about the fact that 60 if not 80% of the very same Easter Cape learners post democracy after your Mandela’s and Mbeki’s have to walk up to God knows how much distance to get to school. Did someone even consider the fact that much as the Eastern Cape is the pioneer in producing the world leaders (in a South African context of cause) it remains the poorest province with the most corrupt administration? Of course that has nothing to do with passing matric right? One person suggested that content subjects be taught in vernacular so as to enable learners from these disadvantaged communities, and I’m thinking okay. If this new administration within the department of education is that good why do we still have categories like ‘Quintile#1’ a category describing learners who are coming from the poorest of the poor schools, I’m talking learners who are taught under a tree, no classrooms ,where science lab is nothing but a dream. We celebrate their achievements, definitely it’s something worthy of an acclaim but why do we still have such? One said the teachers are lazy, majority of them teaching is not their calling they went into teaching by default blah blah blah never ending story. Not to defend the teachers or anything but I would also find it hard to excel in such conditions, a black board held by sticks, no running water, no electricity in 2013 ,yes no basic necessity in most parts of the Eastern Cape hayi mna andisayazi ke ngoku….