Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga on Thursday said that the investment in the foundation phase of learners was the recipe to receiving good results at National Senior Certificate level.
During a matric award ceremony at the newly built Chief Albert Luthuli school in Dayveton, Motshekga said the first five years of a child’s education played a role in determining its future.
“Foundation phase is the solution to great results. I’m glad Gauteng is looking at the foundation phase,” said Motshekga.
Motshekga said that she was pleased with the effort the Gauteng province was making to ensure that the foundation phase of education was being attended to, as well as taking on a high number of progressed learners – that is those who have failed Grade 11 twice and were pushed to Grade 12 as well as those too old to be retained in the school system.
“Statistics have shown that when a learner gets to Grade 10 we lose 30 percent of them in the system, they fall off,” said the national minister of basic education.
“Failing children repeatedly discourages them. Gauteng took a huge amount of progressed learners and around 60% of them managed to pull through.”
The Free State was the country’s top performing province, with pass rate of 93.2%, followed by the Western Cape at 87.7%, Gauteng at 87%, North-West at 86.2%, the Northern Cape at 82.2%, Mpumalanga at 81.3%, KwaZulu-Natal at 66.5%, Limpopo at 68.2% and the Eastern Cape at 63.3%.
The national average pass rate for 2016 matric exams was 72,5 percent.
Earlier Motshekga thanked the Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal governments for their contribution to exclusive education.
“There are more learners with special needs in Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal,” noted Motshekga.
“We need to make sure that children from difficult backgrounds are not left behind. Gauteng is leading with catering with children with difficult learning barriers like autism.”