Quintile 1-3 schools now showing above 70% average pass rates in Western Cape

By Debbie Schafer, Western Cape Minister of Education:

The release of the 2015 NSC results in the Western Cape has been a joyous occasion.

There is much to celebrate as many learners and schools achieved extraordinary results, many against huge odds.

What is extremely heartening is the steady improvement in our schools in Quintiles 1 – 3 since 2009, when the DA became the government in the Western Cape.  These schools tend to have the highest portions of historically disadvantaged learners.

This improvement has continued this year, and for the first time, the average pass rates in schools in each of quintiles 1, 2 and 3 are now all above 70% in the Western Cape. This is a significant milestone.

The improvement in the average of the schools in each of these quintiles in the 2015 examinations, and compared to 2009, is set out in the table below:

Quintile % in 2014 % in 2015 Growth in %  Quintile % in 2009 % in 2015 Growth in %
1 66.5 74.1 7.6 1 57.6 74.1 16.5
2 68.6 71.7 3 2 55.8 71.7 15.8
3 71.3 74.2 2.9 3 57.5 74.2 16.6

It is one of our key strategic objectives to improve the quality of education provision in poorer communities, and these figures show that we have made great strides in closing the gap in education between low and high income communities.

In addition to this improvement, we have also seen improvement across a set of indicators of quality education:

Bachelors’ passes

Bachelors Passes
Quintile % in 2009 % in 2014 % in 2015 Growth in % from 2009 – 2015 Growth in % from 2014 – 2015
One 8.6 17.1 24.5 15.9 7.4
Two 9.9 17.4 20.8 10.9 3.4
Three 11.6 20.5 24.1 12.5 3.6

In 2015, 1 128 more learners who attend Quintile 1 -3 schools achieved a Bachelor’s pass, up from 2 967 in 2014 to 4 095 in 2015.

In 2015, 2 649 more learners who attend Quintile 1 -3 schools achieved a Bachelor’s pass, up from 1 446 in 2009 to 4 095 in 2015.

Underperforming schools that fall into the Quintile 1-3 category have also decreased from 49 in 2009 to  21 in 2014, with only 17 schools falling into this category in 2015.

Schools serving poor communities have an extraordinarily difficult task to provide quality tuition to learners affected by poverty and violence.

Improvements in Quintiles 1 to 3 reflect hard work by all concerned; including sustained support by our districts. This support included detailed analysis of the results and progress of every learner, and special interventions to support borderline cases.

Improvements in Quintiles 1-3 are because of sustained efforts of our districts.

Our District Officials and Educators at these schools have worked hard and consistently throughout the year to assist learners ahead of the NSC exams. Schools remained open late into the evening to create spaces that were conducive to studying so that learners would have a safe and quiet place to study and revise.

Schools also ran a number of programmes after school, on weekends and during the school holidays.

NSC Candidates would also attend school on days that they were not writing so that they could study and still receive 2 meals a day.

It is a sad reality that learners who reside in low income households, have access to fewer resources at home, which is why the WCED prioritises their needs as far as possible.

Whilst we still have a long way to go, we are extremely pleased with the improvements achieved so far and will continue pursuing further improvements in order to ensure that all our learners have the best possible opportunities.