Despite Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga’s proclamation that KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) is the province with the most improved matric results, the reality is that KZN only achieved a meagre 0.1% increase in terms of the real matric pass rate.
When the results were announced late last week, the Minister praised the province for obtaining an 83% pass rate. At the time, the DA in KZN made public the fact that the final figures were misleading.
The DA’s calculation of the true pass mark relies on the method used by leading academics, taking into account the matric cohort of learners who started Grade 10 in 2020.
In 2020, 249 041 KZN learners began Grade 10. Of this cohort, a shocking 84 733 learners dropped out for various reasons. This means that only 164 308 wrote the final National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations in 2022. Of these, 136 388 passed.
This means that only 54.8% passed, up just 0.1% from the 2021 pass mark of 54.7%. (view here) The DA used the same method to calculate the 2021 real pass mark.
Sadly, this is also the class hardest hit by the harsh COVID-19 lockdown, the KZN insurrection, and the floods in our province last year.
The reality is that the many problems within KZN’s education system will not go away for as long as the department is run by this ANC government. The buck stops with MEC, Mbali Frazer, whose decisiveness and sincerity in wanting her department to shine need to be brought into sharp focus.
Infrastructure maintenance and quality remain largely compromised. This is set to worsen with impending budget cuts. The shortage of textbooks has not been addressed. The National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) remains compromised. Scholar transport and safety remain inadequate, with vehicles grossly overloaded, and our schools have turned into war zones, with frequent stabbings and shootings.
The DA firmly believes that the stranglehold by certain unions will gain momentum as we enter a pre-election year, as the ANC-run government depends on their support. We also believe that the department will be led by the nose by certain unions when it comes to filling critical vacancies and supporting promotions.
All of this and more impacts the delivery of quality education in a safe and conducive environment.
The DA is committed to continuing its rigorous oversight to ensure that KZN’s learners emerge following their school careers as citizens who can contribute to a capable, ethical, and caring government instead of being added to the unemployment line.