Anthony Benadie (MPL)
DA Provincial Leader and Spokesperson on Education
The DA congratulates all successful matriculants for the 2014 academic year and welcomes the province’s improved results.
Mpumalanga’s matric results have been on a steady increase for the past six years and the current 79% pass rate marks the first time that the province and all its districts have climbed above the national average.
The number of schools that have achieved a 100% pass rate has improved from just 10 in 2009 to 27 in the 2014 academic year.
The DA warmly congratulates Hoërskool Nelspruit for being the best performing school in the province for the third consecutive year. The school achieved an astounding 348 distinctions and 176 Bachelor passes, the most of any school in the province.
It is however concerning that the number of underperforming schools in the province has shown a sharp increase, from 11 to 84 in the space of a single year. An increase that can be attributed to the department’s declining focus on the quality of educational content. It is also concerning that only 38.38% of learners who entered grade 1 in 2002 passed their matric exam in 2014 indicating an ineffective retention strategy by the department of Education.
Even with the increased pass rate the number of pupils who passed with access to bachelor has decreased by 1725 and the number of learners passing with access to diploma has also decreased by 448 from last year’s figures which is unacceptable.
Maths literacy has decreased from 85.8% in 2013 to 80.4% in 2014. Similarly, maths has decreased from 58.3% to 56.6% and science from 65.5% to 58.7% this year.
In this academic year, the DA calls on Education MEC, Reginah Mhaule to renew the department’s focus on insuring quality education especially in the paramount subjects of maths and science.
The DA urges all matriculants who did not obtain the desired results to make the most of supplementary exam opportunities and commit themselves to working hard to improve their marks.
The DA hopes that all successful matriculants will continue on to enrol in the country’s various tertiary institutions in order to cement their futures.