Lessons must be learned from academic disaster – DA NCape

We are clearly not ready for digital learning and the presence of our teachers makes all the difference

Lessons must be learned from academic disaster

23 February 2021

Note to Editors: Please find attached soundbites in English & Afrikaans from Priscilla Isaacs, MPL. 

Like other stakeholders, the Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Northern Cape are deeply concerned about the drastic decline in the provincial pass rate. While the national pass rate decreased by 5.1% from 81.3% in 2019 to 76.2% in 2020, the Northern Cape plummeted by 10.5% from 76.5% in 2019 to only 66% in 2020.

We acknowledge that 2020 was a particularly challenging year, especially for rural communities. The best performing districts of the past years took the hardest knock, with Namakwa’s pass rate dropping by 11.3% and John TaoloGaetsewe’s pass rate dropping by an alarming 17.8%.

As a province, we are clearly not ready for digital learning and the presence of our teachers makes all the difference in whether or not our learners can outperform their general circumstances.

Inadequate support to progressed learners came back to haunt us once again, as the province performed the worst in the country in this regard. Only 25.4% of the progressed learners managed to pass, compared to 60% of progressed learners who passed in 2019.

We also need to analyse what went wrong with subjects like Geography, Physical Science, and Economics, that brought down the provincial averages.

That so few learners pass, and pass well, must be a wake-up call to the provincial education sector. Yet delays in school admission processes managed by the provincial department means that the 2021 academic year is off to a slow start for far too many learners. Districts like Frances Baard will have to up their game in admissions.

We congratulate the learners who passed and we share in the joy of their families and friends. We wish you all the best in achieving your future dreams. And we encourage those who are unhappy with their results to make use of remarking opportunities. Don’t let a temporary setback become a permanent obstacle to your future happiness.

Issued by Priscilla Isaacs,DA Northern Cape Provincial Spokesperson on Education, 23 February 2021