Khume Ramulifho MPL
DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Education
The DA in Gauteng is deeply concerned with high repetition rate in Gauteng schools, especially in Grade 1.
According to Gauteng Education Department’s 2011/12 Annual Report the repetition rate was 4% in primary schools and 18% in secondary schools.
However, the highest repetition rate on any level is at Grade 1 with 14 259 learners or 6.9%. This rate can directly be linked to poor quality learning in Grade R. This is also highlighted by the Annual National Assessment which confirmed the general poor quality of education for Grades 3 and 6.
The department’s inability to spend its Early Childhood Development budget in the past has a significant impact on the repetition and dropout rates and poor performance. This shows that Grade R sites must be used as learning institutions, instead of day-time caring centres.
Equally concerning is the number of learners dropping out of the schooling system. According to the report 2.5% of learners are unaccounted for in 2011/2012 annual report.
It is also possible that repetition rates are underestimated in Gauteng because learners who drop out of school in the middle of the year, and re-enrol for the same grade again the next year, are often counted as new entrants in official statistics, rather than as repeaters.
Education MEC Barbara Creecy must establish a thorough system to track all learners who enroll in the province to ensure that every learner of school-going age is in school.