It’s back to the drawing board for the Northern Cape Department of Education.
THE NORTHERN Cape MEC for Education, Zolile Monakali, has urged the more than 30% of matric pupils in the Province who failed their Senior National Certificate examinations not to throw in the towel.
Monakali, speaking at the 2020 provincial matric results announcement and awards ceremony in Kimberley on Tuesday, said that the department will assist those pupils who did not pass, as well as those who want to improve their marks.
The Northern Cape achieved a matric pass rate of 66%, making it the worst performing province in the country.
Monakali said the department is already working on measures to assist pupils who failed and those who performed poorly.
“Those from the Class of 2020 who unfortunately failed the year have the option to rewrite their examinations. We have already started with a curriculum to assist them. We also have other resources such as previous examination pacers and extra weekend classes to help them prepare for the rewrite,” said Monakali.
The MEC added that the disappointing outcome of the 2020 matric exams has sent the department back to the drawing board.
“The drop in the matric results has forced the department to migrate work to online platforms. The current academic year of 2021 is much more difficult than the previous year as the current Grade 12 learners are faced with a backlog. We will focus on a more digitalised education system this year around.
“We need to start with early intervention and cannot leave the interventions until the last minute. We will focus on an offline system where we will supply tablets and study material to learners. This will ensure that learners continue learning should we be faced with challenges of being unable to continue with learning and teaching in the classroom – since we are still faced with a pandemic.”
Monakali said the department would take into account the financial and social background of each pupil.
“We are aware that the Northern Cape is a rural province and not a rich province. We also have a high number of unemployed households. The digitalised system will be offline, which means parents or guardians will not be plagued with the challenge of having to buy data for their children to log onto the education system. The learners will be able to continue with their learning without data being loaded on the tablet.”
He noted that the 2020 academic year had more than its fair share of challenges that the Grade 12 pupils had to face and overcome.
“The Class of 2020 has demonstrated resilience against the shock and storms that the Covid-19 pandemic has brought about. The shortened academic year, the less support and contact lessons; by virtue of this demonstration you displayed a sense of independence and readiness to be on your own at tertiary institutions or the world of work.
“While we will be acknowledging academic excellence, we are mourning the untimely death of the previous MEC, Mac Jack, and 28 educators who have succumbed to the Covid-19 pandemic in the Northern Cape. Learners, educators and general workers within the sector have traversed through a very difficult period of Covid-19 with uncertainty and fear of returning to school,” added Monakali.
He said that a partnership between pupils, teachers and society as a whole will ensure that the Class of 2021 will be victorious at the end of their schooling career.
“Quality public education is of paramount importance and consequence management is non-negotiable,” concluded Monakali.