Portfolio Committee on Basic Education Congratulates Class of 2011
The Portfolio Committee on Basic Education would like to congratulate the matric class of 2011 for the improved pass rate of 70.2% from 67.8% in 2010.
The 2011 National Senior Certificate results signal great improvement, new trends and positive lessons towards an improved schooling system. During our oversight activities throughout last year, we noted good planning and interventions drawn from the lessons learned from the 2010 results. Several calls and initiatives were made. These included:
The President declaring education a societal issue and presented focused targets to work towards in the 2011 schooling year;
In the second year running, the National Senior Certificate examinations administered by the Department of Basic Education, were glitch and incident free. In 2010, the examination assurance body (UMALUSI) indicated that “there is a clear indication of marked improvement in the manner in which all the assessments, as well as the final examination, were administered. The Provincial Education Departments have continued to demonstrate their remarkable ability to administer and manage this high stakes examination with fervour”. The Department of Basic Education also committed that in the 2011 National Senior Certificate (NSC) it “will continue with its agenda of building a credible, national examination and assessment system.” It has indeed happened and as the Portfolio Committee we commend the Department for a job well done.
We congratulate Minister Mrs Angie Motshekga and her Department for the decisive and bold plans that were well executed. The plans have indeed worked towards the improved results that we are celebrating today. This shows good leadership and accountability by both the Minister and the Director General Mr Bobby Soobrayan. It further shows that if we work together we can really achieve more in turning around the education system of the country.
The 2011 NSC results have set a new trend of improved achievement in the overall pass rate; learners who qualify for Bachelor’s studies and improved pass in certain gateway subjects. This is a trend we must pursue and continue to work tirelessly to reinforce.
However, the few setbacks that the system is experiencing are also a cause for concern. The 1.1% decline in pass rate for Mathematics and Mathematical Literacy is apprehensively noted. The consistent poor performance by Eastern Cape and Limpopo provinces is also noted. This should, however, be noted as a platform to gather lessons. It helps us to understand where we are faltering as a system.
The interventions to address these challenges should be based on the proper understanding of what is wrong in the system. Therefore, the 2011 decline on other gateway subjects and the poor achievement by the two provinces should serve as a pointer of where the problem is; as an indicator of the direction we should take and as a gauge of the interventions we should bring into the system.
We welcome the renewed commitment by the Minister to further implement the strategy with rigor “to improve pass rate and the quality of Mathematics and Physical Science – the National Strategy for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education” in 2012. This coupled with her commitment to improve the participation and performance of girl learners; help schools to improve learners’ subject choices; ensure correct placement of teachers; focus on teacher development efforts on subject and pedagogical content knowledge will go a long way to respond to the identified setbacks; and focussed attention to the Provinces identified.
As a Portfolio Committee, we will continue to exercise our oversight on the strategy the Minister has committed to. We will couple this within the broader strategic imperatives the Department has set out, which are to:
We therefore congratulate the Minister for the continued and focused intervention and commitment in improving the quality of the education system. We support all the effort by the Department and commit ourselves to a continued support and strategic oversight for another improved achievement in 2012.
We wish our class of 2011 well as they further their studies at different institutions. We encourage those who did not do well to never lose hope and to use all available avenues that will assist them to finally make it.
To the incoming class of 2012, we advise them to set the pace early and keep focused throughout the year. Finally, we call for the consolidation of the Quality Learning and Teaching Campaign by all affected stakeholders to assist our class of 2012 to do even better.
Issued by the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education, Ms Hope Malgas.
For media inquiries, contact:
Faith Kwaza (Ms)