The DA says it will be conducting oversight visits at the schools with a 0% pass rate
THERE has been a 38.4% increase of schools with a 0% pass rate – from 13 in 2019 to 18 in 2020, says the DA.
In a statement on Tuesday, DA education spokesperson Baxolile Nodada intimated that the Department of Basic Education should look to the Western Cape for guidance, where there was not a single school with a 0% pass rate.
Also, the percentage of learners that have passed mathematics in the Western Cape with an average of 40% or above sits at 54.4% – almost 10% higher than Gauteng, which is second at 45.9% – and physical science at 57.5%, again the highest in the country.
The DA said it will be conducting oversight visits at the schools with a 0% pass rate, arguing that they have not been properly supported by the department, which was exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic challenges.
“While the challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic may have played a role in this increase, the reality is that it is also indicative of the deep systemic failures of the Department of Basic Education (DBE),’’ said Nodado.
“The department must interrogate these results honestly in order to seek meaningful ways to improve the education system to better prepare learners for a successful future.
“While many schools and teachers did their best and assisted and taught learners in creative and innovative ways, as can be seen by the overall decrease in schools with a pass rate below 40% – down 1.7% to 4.1% (284 schools in total) – too many learners were left behind.
“This includes students at 0% rate schools who are continuously being failed by the DBE. Many schools are falling apart and unsafe. They don’t have the basic infrastructure, like water and sanitation, in place, never mind the ability to cater to all the challenges the Covid-19 pandemic brought.
“These schools have not been properly supported by the department and it’s the learners who ultimately carry these failures into their futures. How many generations of children will continue to suffer while the department tries to yet again get its ducks in row?
“This school year has already started late because the department failed to use the time at hand to ensure schools were ready to reopen safely. That means that the 2021 matrics, especially those that are already facing an uphill battle due to systemic challenges, will have to work even harder to pass this year.
“It’s hardly a wonder that the real matric pass rate sits at a mere 44.1%. And that the percentage of matrics that achieved a Bachelor pass rate has declined to 36.4%.
“There’s a reason we celebrate those learners that have risen above their adverse circumstances to achieve excellence every year. But these learners should also inspire the department to do better for them.
“The DBE should look at the circumstances at some of these schools and be ashamed of the squalor in which they allow learners to attend classes.
“Schools are supposed to foster a love for learning. They should inspire creativity and innovation. They should be safe havens where learners are equipped for bright futures, not burdened and demoralised.’’