The Department of Education has on 3 January 2019,released a statement lashing out at Equal Education , a movement of learners, parents, teachers and community members, saying that it was disappointed by the organisation’s utterances and wrote it off as an “attempt to gain media exposure”.
Equal Education was quoted in the media as saying that the release of matric results was “a misleading fanfare that provided a poor indication of the overall health of the basic education system.”
The organisation went on to say: “This was particularly evident when the announcement of a 75.1% matric pass rate for 2017 followed the release of the devastating results of an international reading study – that 78% of Grade 4 learners in our country cannot read for meaning, in any language.”
But the Department of Education said that this was just attempts to discredit the announcement of the 2018 Grade 12 NSC results in a statement before they have even been released.
“This takes away from the individual accomplishment of each and every learner that has passed through at least 12 years of schooling and worked hard to attain this all important qualification that in many instances is a gateway to a brighter future,” the Department said.
“We view this as nothing more than a grotesque attempt to get media attention, which ultimately speaks to their funding model, on the back of trivialising the NSC results.”
“We believe the organisation has stooped to an all new low, by calling the release of the results a “misleading fanfare”, yet at the same time they are begging the department for accreditation to attend the very same event they are seeking to deprecate. If they are so concerned about the fanfare then why do Equal Education members so desperately want to attend?”
The Department went on to say that the organisation has accused them of a narrow preoccupation, but said that the NSC results was just “one of a multitude of events, activities and programmes that speak to improving all areas of the education system.”
“At no point has the Department claimed that the NSC is the only barometer with which to measure the system, it has many, this is but one, and it is an important one. As a system it is important to have barometers to evaluate the success of the sector, not only to celebrate when we measure improvements but also to look at where interventions need to be placed to mitigate challenges,” the Department said.
“Progress in the sector has also been confirmed in the international and regional assessment programmes, which Equal Education acknowledges, while at the same time seeking undermine the successes of the Department.”
“TIMSS (2015) has confirmed that South Africa has shown the largest improvement since 2003 of any country in the world in these important assessments with an increase of 87 points in Maths and 90 points in Science.”
“The premature nature of their statement can only be described as embarrassing for them, as the Minister will be addressing a multitude of important areas in her address. We would advise that Equal Education stop to look and listen before they criticise what they do not know,” the Department concluded.