Dinaledi schools shine in maths, science

Monday, March 28, 2011

Pretoria - The 2010 National Senior Certificate (NSC) results show a marked improvement in the mathematics and physical science results achieved at Dinaledi schools compared to previous years, Basic Education said on Monday.

Department spokesperson Granville Whittle said the NSC results show that while the number of learners enrolled for mathematics and physical science has generally been declining, there have been improvements in the pass rates achieved at Dinaledi schools.

"Dinaledi schools contributed 47 760 of the 263 034 learners who wrote mathematics in the 2010 NSC examinations, with 27 109 (57 percent) of these Dinaledi learners achieving a pass. 

"Dinaledi learners also accounted for 32 percent of the total number of learners who achieved more than 50 percent for Maths, which is considered a pass at the previous higher grade level in the old Senior Certificate," Whittle said in a statement.

He said since the project's inception in 2002 with 102 schools, it has been expanded to 500 schools in all nine provinces. This includes 18 schools that were adopted by the Science and Technology Department as part of the Adopt-A-School initiative.

"The programme has seen notable improvements over the last three years, with the 2010 results showing that the bulk of these schools (309) produced between 50 and 99 learners who passed mathematics, up from 198 schools in 2008 and 168 the following year. 

"In physical science, 36 861 NSC candidates were at Dinaledi schools, and of these 21 925 achieved a pass, more than a third of these candidates achieved between 60 to 69 percent," Whittle said.

Responding to recent media reports suggesting that the system was not achieving its objectives, Whittle said the reports only looked at 18 schools adopted by the Science and Technology Department and not at the system as a whole. 

The department has since initiated plans to support these underperforming schools through monitoring and resource provision to produce the number and quality of learners as required. 

He further noted that the 2010 results also show that despite the trend of lower enrollment for these two key subjects, the number of learners achieving 50 percent pass and more has increased, which suggests an improvement in the quality of passes.

"Analysis of the results shows 57 percent of learners passing mathematics were in Dinaledi schools in the 2010 NSC examinations, while 59 percent of candidates passed physical science, both well above the national average of both of these subjects. This provides further confirmation that the system is on track to achieving its objective of improving maths and physical science results."