The Democratic Alliance welcomes the improvement in the 2017 matric results from 59.3% to 65%, an increase of 5.7%.
The high number of Grade 10 learners dropping out of or getting stuck in the system, delaying their entry into post-school education and the job market is however of great concern.
At the end of 2015 the Education Department launched a three-year Improvement Plan which aimed at achieving a 70% pass rate by the end of the 2018 academic year. The 2017 results indicate that this plan is achievable by the end of 2018, if the department continues to implement effective intervention strategies in the worst performing districts of the province.
However, the department could achieve far greater success if they were to address the inherent problems of continued supply chain corruption, sluggish infrastructure development, high teacher-learner ratios and an absence of effective competency testing for principals and high-quality training of educators. School principals and teachers who underperform without fear of consequences will continue to sully the reputation of the department and prevent our children from achieving their full potential.
Once the department addresses these systemic problems, there will be nothing holding them back from achieving an 80% pass rate in our province in the near future. It is time for them to clean house. — Jane Cowley MPL, Member of Education Portfolio Committee