Matric results: Much to celebrate, much to put right

Matric results: Much to celebrate, much to put right

The Democratic Alliance (DA) extends its heartfelt congratulations to the Eastern Cape Matric class of 2023, commending their unwavering dedication and resilience in achieving outstanding results despite the myriad challenges they confronted.

These matriculants have overcome significant challenges, most notably the severe disruptions to the beginning of their high school careers due to the COVID-19 pandemic and extensive loadshedding. We congratulate every matric learner who has reaped the rewards of their hard work.

However, we need to take note of the 42,439 learners who disappeared from the Eastern Cape system between grade 10 and grade 12. When you factor these missing learners into the equation, the pass rate for the province drops from 81.4% to a pitiful 56.4%.

These dropout rates could partly be attributed to overcrowding, lack of appropriate sanitation and infrastructure such as pit latrines, lack of scholar transport and insufficient qualified teachers to teach critical subjects.

There were 1794 vacant teaching posts across the province in June last year. These vacancies include, among others, posts for 380 principals, 39 deputy principals, 272 heads of departments, and 692 teacher posts.

How can the ECDoE claim to provide quality education services to learners if they can’t keep them in school?

Sadly, despite numerous calls from the DA over the past five years, there is no evidence that the ECDoE has made any efforts to track these learners, reach out to them and understand why they dropped out, or work to bring them back into the system.

The DA will continue to fight for an improved education system focused on quality, not quantity, ensuring that every learner is encouraged and supported throughout their schooling career. Only then will we be able to rescue our learners and put them on a trajectory towards a better, brighter future.