Were Grade 11 pupils kept back?

MANY questions about the transfer of pupils from Grade 11 to Grade 12 last year need to be answered. Is it policy or was it a once-off directive to schools to transfer pupils who had not passed Grade 11 in 2013 and who had been in Grade 11 for two years or longer, to Grade 12?

If it is policy, why were the schools not informed and if it was a directive, was it enforceable? Information at hand proves otherwise.

It is a well-known fact that certain districts within the Eastern Cape have not implemented this request or directive to have the weak Grade 11 pupils transferred to Grade 12. Will this directive, if it is not policy yet, be enforceable in the future?

Is the transferring of those pupils who did not pass Grade 11 being done to circumvent culling, that is to retain the weaker pupils in Grade 11 to improve the Grade 12 results, or were these pupils transferred to improve the ever-decreasing retention rate in the Further Education and Training band within our schools?

In 2012, 139 323 pupils were enrolled in Grade 10, with 69 745 of this cohort attending Grade 12 in all public schools in the Eastern Cape. Last year, 66 923 pupils sat for the final NSC examination and 43 776 passed.

How many of the 69 745 pupils who attended Grade 12 last year were transferred to Grade 12 from those in Grade 11 who had repeated for two or more years, and how many of them actually sat for the final examinations? How many of these transferred pupils:

Passed last year’s final NSC examination?

Have qualified to write the supplementary examination in May/June this year, if they had not passed?

Have failed outright without being considered for supplementary examinations?

Have been in Grade 11 for more than two years;

How many of this cohort had passed?

What was the retention rate for Grade 12, last year prior to pupils being transferred and after pupils had been transferred relative to pupils attending Grade 11 in 2013?

It would be appreciated if an analysis of subjects written by the transferred pupils who sat for last year’s NSC examination was made available to determine whether these transfers were beneficial to these pupils and to society as a whole. It will also be interesting to ascertain how the performances of these transferred pupils influenced the outcomes of the final Grade 12 results in the Eastern Cape.

We, as stakeholders, also need to be informed whether these type of transfers, if not policy yet, will be enforceable in the future, even if schools have good reasons, albeit in the interest of these pupils, to be retained in Grade 11. What steps are encouraged if there is resistance from schools to comply?

Edmund van Vuuren, MPL, DA shadow education MEC, Bhisho