By Mbali Ntuli, MPL, DA KZN Spokesperson on Education:
DURING a KZN education portfolio committee meeting held yesterday two critical issues emerged.
The first is that at least four of the 12 schools that recorded a 0% 2015 NSC pass rate did not have a single learner that actually sat for the exams.
The big questions are – what happened to these students, why did these principals not alert the department to the problem and whether these learners will simply not be progressed?
A further question is – what of all the claims from KZN Education MEC, Peggy Nkonyeni and department that all schools in the province were exam ready?
The second issue to emerge is that, despite the seriousness of having so many 0% matric pass rate schools, the department only yesterday decided to prioritise them in the form of oversight visits.
This only came about after pressure in the form of questions and statements yesterday from the DA.
The DA welcomes the fact that the department has at last recognized the urgent need to visit these schools.
Of particular concern is the accountability of these principals, circuit managers and all other stakeholders who failed to ensure that the issues preventing learners from writing were brought to light.
We will be asking MEC Nkonyeni and HOD Sishi to account for this gross oversight.
There is absolutely no hope of establishing and correcting the problems at these schools if there is no flow of information between the people meant to take responsibility for the future of our learners.
As the 2016 academic year begins today, we make a commitment to the learners of the province to do everything in our power to ensure that they have access to an education which will open doors for them. We urge them to work hard and for all stakeholders to take seriously the mandate of educating South Africa’s next generation of leaders.