9 September 2016
The Democratic Alliance in the Northern Cape welcomes the psycho-social analysis on progressed learners which was tabled in the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature this week. We support the initiative that was taken by the Northern Cape Department of Education to analyse the psycho-social needs of progressed learners in the province.
One of the most concerning aspects revealed in the report is that 78% of learners surveyed eat less than 50% of the food required for optimal brain function. When our learners are suffering this level of hunger and deprivation, the implementation of the National School Nutrition Programme in the province must improve. Children are now just sitting in class waiting for 10:00am so that they can get their only meal of the day.
We suggest that the department adopts the model used in the Western Cape, where breakfast is served at the start of the school day and lunch is served later in the afternoon. This model has shown to be immensely beneficial, with the matric pass rate in poor areas increasing from 58% in 2009 to 70% in 2015. There is no reason why our children cannot get the same quality of services in the Northern Cape.
Progressed learners accounted for almost 20% of the grade 12 learners who wrote the National Senior Certificate examinations in the province in 2015, but only represent 7% of the candidates who passed.
Since the Northern Cape has the third worst pass rate for progressed learners in the country, we must implement viable strategies informed by this analysis to improve the outcome of the education sector as soon as possible. We also need to investigate the possibility of providing structured support to learners in the other grades so that we can address problems at an earlier age.
DA Provincial Spokesperson on Education in the Northern Cape
084 919 4157
076 551 0312