The 3% decline in the Northern Cape’s matric pass rate to 75% shows that the provincial department of education needs to step up and account for the chronically poor state of education in the province.
While the department will greedily accept praise for individual achievements, it never accepts responsibility for the many failures in our education system.
The DA certainly congratulates individual students who worked hard and performed well, especially students like Mogopodi Molusi from Emang Mmogo Comprehensive School who achieved the country’s third highest marks in Mathematics. This achievement shows that our students are smart enough to be counted among the best if the department does enough to support them. This department receives the largest slice of the provincial budget and it is completely unacceptable that students must receive mediocre support.
We have many passionate, qualified educators who work just as hard as our students. Unfortunately, engagements with the department in 2017 showed that many educators failed to attend training sessions aimed at improving their abilities to impart knowledge in fields like Maths and Science. The department confidently denied that this would have an impact on the quality of education our students receive, but the decline in the pass rate tells a different story.
The decline in the pass rate tells us that the department’s ineffectual interventions cannot make up for the unreliable learner transport, ill-equipped laboratories and unsafe infrastructure that many of our students must face every day of their years at school.
Whenever we raise questions on these aspects, the department ignores our concerns or lazily points a finger of blame at implementing agents. This lackadaisical attitude must change for the sake of our students.
We will use our sessions in the Legislature to demand full accountability from the department. Each child in this province deserves only the best and so far, the department has not delivered it.
DA Provincial Spokesperson on Education in the Northern Cape
084 919 4157
071 251 5558