KZN education to improve NSC results in 2017

Friday, May 5, 2017

Pretoria – KwaZulu-Natal Education MEC Mthandeni Dlungwane says the department will be approaching the 2017 National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations with a greater sense of confidence.

Tabling his Budget Speech on Thursday, the MEC said the province managed to achieve three major things in the 2016 academic year, after a two-year decline in matric results during 2014 and 2015.

He said the province succeeded in arresting a decline in the overall pass percentages with every district pass percentage improving; the province has improved the overall pass percentage by 5.8% when compared to that of 2015; and the province improved the quality of passes by increasing the number of bachelor passes.

“All this indicates that KwaZulu-Natal is on an upward trajectory. To maintain momentum of the 2016 improvement we have enhanced our 2017 plan…” he said.

The department has been allocated a budget worth R47 476 599 for the current financial year.

He said the plan is to focus sharply on critical educational and administrative aspects which include basic school functionality to ensure a conducive atmosphere for effective teaching and learning; effective curriculum delivery and learner attainment which is informed by the National Strategy for Learner Attainment and the call for task on time and task on task; and teacher development for continuous development of teachers for the implementation of the modern curriculum.

The MEC said the focus will also be on career guidance to empower learners to make informed career choices; promotion of reading, writing and numeracy as foundations for effective learning; and stakeholder participation for support and monitoring and to make education a societal issue.

“Our focus is very clear. We want nothing less than 76% overall pass rate in the 2017 NSC,” he said.

He said the province will achieve this by, among other things, eliminating the 0% pass rate schools -- which were about nine in the province in 2016; ensuring that no school performs at 30% and below; and increasing the number of 100% pass rate schools from 85 to 170 schools which is a target of 100% increase.

“To achieve these targets, the province has organized extra classes for learners in schools that performed below 30% in 2016. These extra classes are in the form of resident clustered centres, clustered day centres and stand-alone day centres.

“Key subjects targeted are Accounting, Business Studies, Economics, Geography, Life Sciences, Mathematics, Mathematical Literacy and Physical Sciences.

“The first round of boot camps for struggling and progressed learners from schools that performed below 30% in 2016 was conducted during the Easter school holidays. More camps will be conducted during the winter and spring vacation,” said MEC Dlungwane.

He said extra classes to support high performing learners are also scheduled for winter and spring holidays.

He said particular attention is being paid to Umlazi, Pinetown and Ilembe Districts as part of the department’s focused strategy to further improve results in 2017. 

Maritime Education

The MEC said the department is expanding maritime education to expose learners to the maritime sector as outlined in the National Development Plan (NDP) and further outlined in objectives of Operation Phakisa for the Blue Economy, which was launched by the President in October 2014. 

“This year, there are about 20 schools offering Maritime Economics as part of their curriculum in KZN spread across eight districts, with about 1 600 learners in Grades 10 to 12 as compared to five schools in 2014. 

“Three of these schools are now offering a full suite of Maritime Studies subjects (i.e Nautical Sciences and Maritime Economics) in Grades 10 to 12. A budget of R5 million has been allocated for this programme in 2017/18,” said the MEC.

Learner Admission

The MEC said the department will always strive to ensure that teaching and learning takes place on the first day of each school year.

As a result, the 2018 learner registration processes started in March this year, and the department has a target to finalise the process in August.

He said this will give the department ample time to deal with any challenges before the end of the year.

“Our goal is to completely eliminate the culture of registering learners in January when schools re-open. We must emphasise this, some of the schools have successfully utilized various forms of discrimination just remain white elephants.

“This is done through a variety of limiting methods like exorbitant fees charged by these schools making education unaffordable to the working class, and sometimes the use of waiting lists which ordinary parents have no access to,” he said, adding that it cannot be business as usual. -

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