Faizel Patel, Radio Islam News - 05-01-2017
While seven in every ten matrics from the class of 2016 getting their results today will be pleased to find out they passed a professor at the of Wits School of Education has raised concerns about learners who drop out along the way before reaching grade 12
Basic education minister Angie Motshekga officially released the results in Midrand last night.
The class of 2016 achieved a 72.5% pass rate, that figure includes progressed learners and is a slight increase from the previous year.
The Free State achieved the highest pass rate of all with over 93% of pupils passing, but the minister says the North West and Gauteng also did well.
Speaking to Radio Islam, Professor Elizabeth Walton from of Wits School of Education says while the matric results should be celebrated, she has raised concerns about learners who start primary school and drop out along the way before reaching grade 12.
“It’s a real indictment on our system that we are losing about 40% of the young people on the way and that’s not good. The minister did say that we are improving our retention rate that it’s now about 58%, but that’s still a hug number of learner that we are not managing to get all the way to grade 12.”
Meanwhile the national teachers union says it does not support the basic education department’s policy of progressing poor performing learners.
The national teachers union says progressing learners to grade 12 exposes them to academic material they are not equipped to handle.
The union’s deputy president Alan Thompson says this can have a negative psychological and emotional effect on learners.
“The policy is demoralising educators in our education system and in the results the minister also revealed that almost 40,000 of those learners could not get results simply because some decided to absent themselves during the examinations.”
But Professor Walton says she supports the move to progress learners.
“One of the things that we know about making learners stay back in a year, to fail a year is that increases the likelihood that they will drop out of school. So if we have failed learners at grade 9 or grade 10 or grade 11, they are likely not to stay in school, they are likely to give up and leave school at that point.”
More than 800 thousand matric sat for the latest national senior certificate exams.