DBE gives up on underperforming schools to manipulate pass rate – Nomsa Marchesi

DA says it is shocked to hear dept will be shutting down zero percent schools in Limpopo

DBE gives up on underperforming schools to manipulate pass rate

16 January 2020

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is appalled at media reports stating that the Department of Basic Education (DBE) will be shutting down zero percent schools in Limpopo. Minister Angie Motshekga and her Department would appear to be making this move solely to ensure their pass rate increases.

Without these underperforming schools, their overall performance as a department will be seen as improving, which is very misleading and only reflects a complete lack of accountability on their behalf.

The DA wishes to draw attention to our findings indicating that the DBE has already misled South Africans. In the 2019 release of the School Performance Report, only 6 schools were listed as performing under 40%, but 6 more schools from Limpopo should have been added to this list.

It then comes as no surprise that part of the schools that are expected to be shut down include the schools we listed from Limpopo in addition to the 6 from KwaZulu-Natal.

Minister Motshekga, and her department, have failed to fulfill their constitutional duty to assist these schools in addressing their underperformance. So instead of solving this problem, the Minister has decided to ensure that there are now fewer schools for learners to attend. This will certainly lead to overcrowding for the remaining schools in the province, and some learners will now be expected to travel much further to receive an education.

Overcrowding is one of the biggest problems that provinces such as the Western Cape and Gauteng are currently facing. With an increasing number of schools becoming less available, more learners will now relocate to provinces where many parents are already scrambling to get their children into good schools.

It is the result of an uncaring government that educational issues are compounded within our educational system. Our education system is in no doubt failing our Limpopo learners. With the Basic Education Sector Lekgotla underway, we can only hope that immediate action will follow to address these ongoing concerns.

Issued by Nomsa Marchesi, DA Shadow Minister of Basic Education, 16 January 2020