Bhisho - The Eastern Cape Education Department has pulled out all the stops to improve the province's matric results.
Speaking to BuaNews on Monday, department spokesperson Loyiso Pulumani said they aimed to improve on the province's 50.6 percent past rate that was achieved last year.
He said last year was particularly significant as it was the first year which the new National Senior Certificate was being awarded to learners who passed their Grade 12 examinations which were based on the new curriculum known as the National Curriculum Statement (NCS).
Some of the measures that the department has put in place include the Learner Attainment Improvement Strategy (LAIS).
"The department's LAIS, which was introduced from the beginning of this year, has sought to ensure that underperforming schools receive all the requisite assistance to ensure that issues like resourcing, skilling and district support are availed on an ongoing basis," Mr Pulumani said.
He further said the department's winter schools, which hosted learners across the province with special emphasis on the problem learning areas, are currently being heightened as the department enters the third crucial quarter.
On the issue of comparing last year's results with this year, Mr Pulumani said it would be inappropriate as it would be "like comparing apples and oranges".
He said last year was the introductory phase of the curriculum and some of the requirements were only partly unveiled.
"For me it's too early to make neither substantive judgments nor comparisons for that matter. I think it's important to note that this year has not had any typical mid-year examinations as was the norm in the old curriculum.
"The new NCS instead is assessed through a series of planned tasks and assessments over a specified timeframe," he added.
Announcing the provincial matric results last year in East London, Education MEC Mahlubandile Qwase said his department would in 2009 put more effort in improving school support and monitoring, right from the provincial head office and districts to the schools.
He said they had demonstrated an unwavering commitment towards refocusing all of their operations primarily in achieving quality teaching and learning.
"The department would continue to appoint Subject Planner at Head Office and Subject Advisors as well as Education Development Officers in districts.
"This is a significant development which will take some time and careful budgeting to achieve," Mr Qwase said at the time.