Teaching quality ‘must improve’

31 December 2007

The South African government and its partners should find ways to put effective measures in place so that better results could be achieved at all school levels in future, says Education Minister Naledi Pandor.

Addressing the media in Pretoria after announcing the matric results on Friday, Pandor said it was clear from various studies, as well as this year’s results, that quality learning needed to be the department’s concrete objective for all grades.

The national pass rate for 2007 stands at 65.2% – 1.4% below the pass rate of 2006.

This year, a total of 564 775 candidates sat for the exams and 368 217 passed, some 85 454 candidates passed with endorsement. This was 376 less than in 2006.

Pandor raised concerns that teachers were not yet teaching with the expectations that “we will have tough papers that will test high-level cognitive skills”.

She raised the issue of poorer schools continuing to perform badly, saying that this was as a result of unqualified teachers in some classrooms, inadequate laboratories and negligible support to schools.

“I have now asked the director-general to look closely at these schools, and the department needs to regularly visit these schools, including those who were performing and suddenly declined,” Pandor said.

The pass rate per province was (from the highest achiever):

  • Western Cape – 80.6%
  • Gauteng – 74.6%
  • Free State – 70.5%
  • Northern Cape – 70.3%
  • North West – 67.5%
  • KwaZulu-Natal – 63.8%
  • Mpumalanga – 60.7%
  • Limpopo – 57.9%
  • Eastern Cape – 57.1%

 

The South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) said it was encouraged by the increased numbers writing and passing matric, including an additional 36 000 learners over 2006 and an additional 16 714 successful matriculants.

Sadtu secretary-general Thulas Nxesi said the union would be joining forces with other stakeholders in 2008 to form local education committees tasked to develop a code of conduct outlining the responsibilities of all the stakeholders.

“The committee will also monitor the implementation of the rewrite programmes,” Nxesi said.

The National Teachers’ Union (Natu), meanwhile, called on the department to invite all stakeholders to come and contribute meaningfully towards reshaping the country’s education system.

“We will organise workshops to capacitate workers on the new curriculum and further empower them on how to devise alternative or improvising teaching and learning support materials while the department is redirecting the material resources to the very needy schools,” Natu vice-president Allen Thompson said.

SAinfo reporter

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