The Democratic Alliance (DA) wants to congratulate all Grade 12 pupils from the Eastern Cape who passed the 2019 National Senior Certificate (NSC) and contributed to a massive increase in the province’s pass rate.
Eastern Cape learners performed incredibly well and due to their hard work and the tireless work of educators the pass rate increased from 70,6% in 2018 to 76,5% in 2019.
The number of bachelor’s passes also increased from 27,4% to 32,3% in 2019.
We applaud the hard work, determination and sacrifices made by the learners, educators and parents through trying circumstances which include insufficient and poor access to critical resources such as infrastructure, sanitation, internet and scholar transport.
South Africans and especially people of the Eastern Cape persevere in the most trying of circumstances and deliver wonderful achievements, in spite of the challenges they face.
The DA celebrates these achievements even as our thoughts go out to those who did not pass and others that were culled along the way by the Eastern Cape Education Department. We will fight for and stand by these learners who have been robbed of opportunities.
The DA is still very concerned about the low learner-retention and high dropout rates in the Eastern Cape and this number is set to grow as the Basic Education Department (DBE) phases out the Multiple Examination Opportunity (MEO) to learners which artificially inflates the matric pass rate.
Of the 139 962 Eastern Cape learners in grade 10 in 2017, only 63 198 (45,2%) wrote the NSC in 2019 and of these 48 331 passed. This means that the real matric pass rate in the Eastern Cape is 34,5% – the third lowest in the country.
The Eastern Cape Education Department must inform the public what happened to the other 76 764 learners who fell by the wayside since 2017.
The department’s plan appears to be to cast the learners who need the most help aside and prevent them from writing.
Preventing learners from writing their final exams in the pursuit of improving the overall pass rate misses the point.
Schools must not only receive incentives for better matric results, incentives must also be provided for improved learner-retention and lower dropout rates as is done in the Western Cape.
In the DA-run Western Cape we continue to keep learners in school and yet again maintained the lowest dropout rate in the country.
South Africa has the highest youth unemployment rate in the world and, therefore, the DA will work hard to ensure improved higher education and skills development opportunities as well as fight for economic growth and job creation for our youth.
Yusuf Cassim MPL
DA Eastern Cape Shadow MEC for Education
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