WCape education needs a shake-up - Marius Fransman

ANC WCape leader says that under the DA govt the province has once again slipped back in the provincial rankings

Western Cape education needs shake up

The ANC Western Cape is disappointed and noted that the Western Cape has again slipped back and could not even make it amongst the first three provinces in the country on the result list of the matriculation. The Western Cape lost its first place of 2011 to Gauteng in 2012 and now ended in the fourth place.

The facts are that under the ANC the Western Cape had the highest matric pass rate (85% with an average of 82% over the five years) and under the DA fell to 76% (2009 and 2010).

ANC Western Cape leader Marius Fransman says: "The ANC congratulates all learners on their hard work and achievements, and wish them well for the future. To those who did not make it this time, we encourage all to work harder to get this important qualification. We remind them of the words of Tata Madiba that said the secret after disappointment or a fall is to get up again. We also acknowledge that many of these learners come from disadvantaged areas where inferior facilities and support continue the trend of inequality in education.

"The ANC agrees that more than just mere numbers in the pass rate is important. The ANC would like to see more critical indicators in especially poor areas to be taken into consideration. Far too many learners fall behind in the lower foundation phase grades and are never assisted to catch up again to learn to properly read, write and calculate.

"This is mainly due to the fact that two educational worlds still exist in the province. For those of the leafy areas where elitist former ‘Model C' schools thrive with every possible amenity, while on the other end those that serve people trapped in poverty with little - if any - support. The learners in the latter live in a world where they stay in unconducive shacks, have to also work to help families, head households, dodge gangster bullets in drug wars, face school closures and do not even have a place to study or any light to do this with after hours."

The ANC says the Western Cape is still plagued by the highest dropout figure in the country and the DA failed to produce a provincial plan to ensure especially rural learners stay in school longer in order to improve their lives too. President Jacob Zuma has challenged the DA government of the Western Cape to do this and the ANC says at the start of this year it wants to see this plan as roughly half the learners that start in grade one does not make it to matric.

"One of the first priorities of the ANC after it wins the election will be to shake up education, accelerate the support to poorer schools and up the stakes in order to get achievement at all fronts back on track. The ANC is proud of every one who did their bit and especially of those that picked themselves up and improved their marks. In this regard the ANC also congratulates the various schools the DA wanted to close down to reduce poor performance instead of assisting learners, teachers and the school.

"They markedly improved their results. One shining example is Peak View in Athlone that turned around from a struggling school to one that produced a pass rate higher than the provincial average by merely changing the language of instruction to isiXhosa.

"There are also still too many villages and towns where almost no integration took place with two schools in the same area: One unviable (mostly white with far too little learners and great facilities) next to overcrowded and under-resourced township schools. Add to this the many problems with learner transport, unequal resources (lack of libraries, laboratories or computer rooms), hunger and malnutrition or many unfilled positions still hampering proper or sound education to take place.

The ANC encourages all learners to continue with their studies this year. They must go to school, be on time, learn and keep doing their work regularly. All people should work towards this end, including learners, teachers, parents and communities," Fransman added.

Statement issued by Marius Fransman, ANC Western Cape leader, January 7 2013

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