Mpuma underperforming independent schools warned

Friday, October 4, 2013

By Tom Nkosi & Sydney Masinga

Mbombela - Mpumalanga’s Education MEC Reginah Mhaule has warned that any independent school that produces a pass rate of less than 50% in their matric results will be closed down.

Mhaule was speaking to African Eye News Service following a press briefing held in White River.

“We had a meeting with them and told them that should they perform below 50%, we will close them down,” Mhaule said.

The MEC explained that not all independent schools that produce less than 50% will be closed down.

“We’ll also look at their track record and if we find that they have performed below 50% for three consecutive years, we will have no option but to close them down,” she said.

Mpumalanga has a total of 110 independent schools, five of which produced a pass rate of less than 50% last year.

Up to 84 public schools obtained less than 50% pass rate for the same examinations.

Mhaule, however, hopes that the province’s targeted 10% pass rate increase from last year’s 70% will be achieved from the intervention programmes that the department has implemented, particularly at these schools.

“The effort and support provided to all schools, in particular 89 schools which obtained results below 50% in 2012, make us feel optimistic that we will realise our target.

“We are aware that the target might appear to be ambitious, but we see it as a realistic and achievable objective judging by the amount of effort and work that was done this year,” Mhaule said.

The intervention programmes that the department has introduced include the schooling transformation and reform strategy (Stars) – an ambitious programme which offers supplementary classes in mathematics and science to pupils outside normal schooling hours.

A total of 58 517 part-time and full-time matrics have registered to sit for the 2013 Grade 12 examinations, which start later this month. This represents an increase of approximately 3 000 matrics to those who registered and sat for last year’s exams.

The MEC also asked teachers to continue giving their full support to all pupils, especially during the exam period.

“I encourage constant interaction between teachers and their learners so that matters that require clarity could be dealt with timeously. We also request the provincial Moral Regeneration Movement to lead from the front in this regard,” Mhaule said.

Mpumalanga's matric results have improved steadily over the years. The province obtained a 47.9% matric pass in 2009, 56.8% in 2010 and 64.8% in 2011, which further improved to 70% in 2012.

Of the 47 889 pupils matrics, who wrote the 2012 exams, 33 504 passed. Of these, 9 495 qualified for bachelor programmes, 14 277 for diplomas, 9 633 for higher certificates and 99 achieved the National Senior Certificate. –



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