Matric 2013: WCape's poor performance cause for concern - NEHAWU

Union says Zille administration's total disregard for black education can no longer be tolerated


NEHAWU congratulates all grade 12 students who have successfully passed their matric examinations in the year 2013 and also encourage all those who have not succeeded this time, not to give up hope but to try again. We salute all stakeholders, who have worked hard to achieve a matric pass rate of 78, 2%; that represents a 4, 3% increase from the 73, 9% attained in 2012. These results are a positive step in the right direction but we call on all stakeholders to focus on the qualitative outcomes going forward.

We salute all teachers especially our sister union SADTU for its persistency and dedication in improving the level of education in our country and also for fearlessly leading the struggle for quality basic education for working class students in particular. These improved results are a clear evidence that despite numerous challenges and negative perceptions, there are a lot of dedicated and hardworking teachers, who constantly surpass expectations and silence critics every year. 

Whilst, we celebrate an increase in the overall pass rate we have noted with concern the decline in the pass rate in mathematics, accounting and economics. This is more disconcerting because our economy is in dire need of people that are competent in these subjects. Rural schools are unfortunately the ones most affected by this decline.

Going forward, we call on government and all stakeholders to ensure that all deserving students are accommodated in higher learning institutions. We call on universities and other institutions of higher learning to diligently prepare for the registration process, so as to avoid the chaotic and tragic events we have seen in the past.

We reiterate our call for universities to refrain from implementing their usual draconian admission criterion and also re-assess their inflexible financial demands because they systematically exclude learners from the poor and rural communities. We call on all financial institutions and the National Student Financial Aid Scheme {NSFAS} to provide financial support to poor students in order to help them access higher education.

The department of Higher Education and Training {DHET} should allocate adequate resources to FET colleges in order to provide quality learning and training to students who enrol. The managers of these colleges should also better utilise the resources at their disposal and stop wasting money on luxuries but spend it on necessities. The high level of dropouts in these colleges is a cause for concern and needs to be properly and immediately addressed.

Measures should be taken to prevent desperate students falling prey to bogus colleges and other fly-by-night learning institutions.DHET working with other departments should reopen nursing and agricultural colleges that were closed after the GEAR policy programme was adopted.

NEHAWU is deeply concerned by the mediocre performance of the Western Cape province especially schools from the predominantly black communities. This happens as a result of the blatant and escalating levels of neglect of these schools by the Western Cape government including the unilateral closure of some of them. This careless and total disregard for black education by the Zille administration cannot continue to be tolerated almost 20 years into our democracy.

Statement issued by Sizwe Pamla, NEHAWU Media Liaison Officer, January 7 2013

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