The DA has said that more than half the learners who enrolled in grade 1 in 2007, and were expected to sit for the 2018 National Senior Certificate exams, have actually not done so.
DA Shadow Minister of Basic Education, Nomsa Marchesi, has called out the Department of Education, accusing the minister of “again failing dismally” to address the major issues.
“While the Department of Basic Education (DBE) celebrates this year’s 78.2 percent matric pass rate, Minister Angie Motshekga has again failed dismally to address the large number of learners who don’t write matric in the first place.”
“Nearly half the learners who enrolled in Grade 1 in 2007, didn’t write the full-time matric exams in 2018 as they were expected to. These learners are either stuck repeating grades or being lost to the ANC’s failing education system completely. The minister admits that retention should be part of the measure for matric, but conveniently forgets this each January when it’s time to release matric results,” Marchesi said.
Marchesi went on to say that the role of the new Multiple Exam Opportunity (MEO) on this year’s marks was also striking. “The Eastern Cape, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and Northern Cape all had over 15% of their candidates writing only some of their exams in November 2018, with the rest in May/June next year,” she said.
“The DA is concerned that these candidates will not go on to actually complete their remaining exams. When we asked the Basic Education Director-General earlier this year how many of these learners actually finished their second batch of exams – he couldn’t tell us,” she added.
“If these learners aren’t finishing their exams, they are just being dropped from the system to inflate provincial pass rates. So, not only are learners dropping out or getting stuck before matric, we now have the potential to lose thousands of learners who don’t complete the MEO.”
“A good quality, timely matric qualification is essential for school leavers to further their education and training and secure jobs to put an end to the cycle of poverty,” she concluded.