The Department of Basic Education finds itself perplexed by yet another ridiculous statement from DA MP Gavin Davies where this time he claims that the Department has “culled” learners to get a higher pass rate in the National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations.
What makes this claim even more disappointing is that the Department has in fact done the exact opposite by progressing learners who have failed the Further Education and Training (FET) phase more than once. So in essence we have pushed an additional 65 673 learners through the system who sat for the November examinations, this at the risk of a drop in the percentage.
The progressed learner policy contradicts his claims sharply. We are getting used to the DA whinging about the matric results every time the Western Cape doesn't come first, and Mr Davies is fast losing any kind of credibility with the absurd and plainly ignorant, sensationalist statements he consistently releases that have no bearing on any kind of factual information.
It's a mischievous accusation aimed at diverting attention from the constructive analysis arising from the gains made by the Education system in recent years. We reject his assertion that learners were culled. The fact of the matter is that we have spent resources towards a comprehensive learner support programme implemented countrywide.
The Grade 12 examinations are not primarily designed to measure whether there is progress in the system as a whole, or even in individual schools. The main purpose of these examinations is to provide learners with an exit qualification. This is our main objective as the DBE, while we do like to register progress and are encouraged when we see the fruits of our hard work reflecting in the results the main objective is always to try and get learners to leave the system with a qualification. .
The Department will continue to implement measures that are aimed at keeping learners in the education system and giving them an opportunity to become productive citizens.
The claims are so absurd and don’t take into consideration any number of possibilities. If learners in 2014 failed Gr 10 they would not be reflected in the 2016 cohort of Grade 12’s if they failed Gr 11 they would not be there, if they left the system and went to attend a TVET college they would not be there. The explanations are quite frankly endless.
The Department is well aware of the situation regarding learner drop-out rates and the reality is that we lose approximately 30% of learners between Gr 10 and 12. The reasons vary from social-economic reasons, youth criminality, substance abuse, teenage pregnancy, death, attending alternative education institutions, employment, as well as dropping out due to the frustration of continued Grade repetition. As a result we have put a number of interventions in place to counter these; the most bold of yet is the progression policy which is the exact opposite of the DA’s ridiculous assertions.
It would be advisable for Mr Davis to perhaps broaden his network of advisors to include a selection of diverse and reputable education experts so that he may avoid the repeated embarrassment of his illogical statements.
Enquiries: Elijah Mhlanga – 083 580 8275 | Troy Martens – 079 899 3070