The Eastern Cape department of education had topped other provincial education departments by consistently improving the quality of its matric results, basic education minister Angie Motshekga said on Tuesday.
Motshekga made the remarks while speaking at the KwaBhaca town hall, where she was launching the “Second Chance” programme in the Alfred Nzo education district.
She also presented provincial education MEC Mlungisi Mvoko with a certificate of recognition for the Eastern Cape’s improved matric performance from 2014 to 2018.
The number of matric learners who obtained bachelors passed had increased consistently in the Eastern Cape throughout the fifth administration, said Motshekga.
She said the achievement was not based purely on the number of bachelors passes achieved. “We were using the criteria of the province that serves poor students in quintile one to three schools, which has improved the quality… over the last five years. We congratulate Eastern Cape, we can really see that the province is going somewhere,” said Motshekga.
Alfred Nzo District had also improved from being amongst the 81 poorest performing districts in the province, said Motshekga. Last year, it was ranked the number four performer, with a 72% pass rate.
Turning to the “Second Chance” programme, Motshekga said it would assist learners who dropped out of school only to later realise the value of education. It was also used to assist those with poor matric passes and those who were 21-years-old or older who had passed grade nine.
Learners would be allowed to register for one subject or more depending on their capacity and those joining the programme would be exposed to post-matric opportunities.
“We will involve other stakeholders like the Sector Education and Training Authority and National Youth Development Agency to help those who want to acquire skills and start their own businesses,” she said.
The district had already registered over 1900 learners for the programme.
Speaking about sanitation at schools, Motshekga admitted that the Alfred Nzo district was “lagging behind”. She committed to return to the district for the roll-out of sanitation infrastructure before her term in office ended.
King Madzikane ll Diko, of the Bhaca tribe, told African News Agency he was impressed with the dedicated teachers who had helped improve the pass rate in the district. “We have committed ourselves to achieving a 76% matric pass at the end of this year.”
Government needed to improve literacy levels if it wanted to reduce unemployment, he said. “We cannot expect to grow the economy with many citizens still illiterate.”
– African News Agency (ANA)