Rev Phidian Matsepe
Members of the Central Methodist Church
Grade 12 Award recipients
Educators and Learners
I’m glad to be here again with you.
Ke rata go rotloetsa Ntate Moruti le phuthego gore le tshware le tiise mo thapelong ena ya ngwaga le ngwaga ya bana ba matric le go leboga bao ba dirileng sentle ngwageng o fitileng.
Bana ba mo ’Thema ba lesogo go ba gaufi le Central Methodist. Ena ke engwe ya kereke tsa rona tseo di itseng mosola wa thuto mo sechabeng. Ka sekgowa ba ye bare “education is the key to success.”
Indeed the Lord has heard our prayers. Again we improved performance in Grade 12.
This we did through hard work, as education authorities, schools, teachers, principals, communities, Faith-based organisations, business, unions and broader society.
This work you do for our children should not be taken lightly. You helps us build a better country wherein young people are empowered with skills and opportunities to grow and develop into responsible, successful and prosperous citizens.
Matric opens the doors to such a possibility, of a better life for all, in a better country and a better world. The matric exam is a measure of achievements of twelve years of schooling.
Matric results rank among important performance indicators of the schooling system. That’s why we’re grateful when you also take them seriously.
Through hard work, and our improvement strategies, as well as the involvement of more people and communities in education, I’m glad to say that matric results over the past four years show impressive progress.
This should say to us we’re on the right path as a nation. Working together we will do more to correct the educational problems we inherited when we came into government in 1994.
I urge the Class of 2013 to dedicate their lives to their studies. Nobody will give you a better gift than the gift of education that can never be taken away from you, come rain or shine.
Get your matric first, then be free to pursue your dreams.
I want you to know that our pass requirements for the National Senior Certificate are not any lower than the old Senior Certificate. In fact, passing matric is even more difficult.
And that is why you need to work even much harder.
And that is why today this great Central Methodist Church that’s led by a brilliant and ardent reader, Rev Phidian, is rewarding 2012 matriculants for their good.
Thank you all for making us proud.
In 2009 the national pass rate was 60.6%. In 2010 it rose to 67.8%. In 2011 it went up to 70.2%. Through all our hard work last year it increased to an impressive 73.9%.
It is for this reason that we have dropped everything today to come to join the Church in thanking last year’s matriculants for they have done much to get us to 73.9%, not far from 75%.
Most importantly, your province, Gauteng got the highest percentage compared to all provinces in the country, with 83.9% pass rate, up from 81.1% in 2011.
We had more learners passing Mathematics than in 2011. In 2012, 121 970 learners passed Mathematics compared to 104 033 in 2011. This is a difference of 17 937.
I’m saying this because Mathematics, and Science, are important subjects in which we have a shortage and thus the skills gap that impedes our development as a country.
The number of passes for Physical Science was 109 918 in 2012 compared to 96 441 in 2011.
I thought I should share with you another important development for which I really plead for your support without which we cannot do justice to our young.
Much as we are more than grateful of all the support South Africans are putting into matric, we need your support also in the lower grades.
Getting a quality education we all want requires that we build a solid foundation from the early years of learning. This is the direction we are taking as government.
And so in 2011 we introduced the Annual National Assessments for learners in primary schools. It is a tool to inform us where we should make interventions and how these should be made so that we can improve learner performance.
In 2012 we expanded the second Annual National Assessments to include learners in Grade 9.
One of the main outcomes of this national testing is to improve school-based assessment practices.
Over 7 million learners wrote these tests last year. As we reported, learner performance in the Foundation Phase (Grades 1, 2 and 3) is pleasing and there is progress in the Intermediate Phase (that is, Grade 4, 5 and 6).
Fellow Christians, I’m bringing this to your attention because I want you to support us in making this exercise of national importance a success, as the Church, as members of the community, as parents, as teachers and as principals.
All we ask of you, is to check the results of your children in the Annual National Assessments, and then go back to your children’s school to seek answer for the manner in which your children have performed. Help with homework and in working through the new workbooks that we have introduced.
This is how together we can help to improve school performance and learner results. This is what we mean when we say education is a societal issue.
We all must get involved in the education of our children. This is why I thank Rev Phidian Matsepe for putting education first.
What gives me even more hope is to see learners here with us with their teachers.
This is a very special service you all will live to remember when you become doctors, teachers, engineers, technicians, ICT gurus and top managers in various fields.
While we view academic achievement as a gateway to success, we also expect education to help us promote commonly shared values and a human rights culture for the benefit of all our people.
We ask of the Church and its members to support the Stop Rape Campaign that we have launched in an effort to raise awareness among our learners on the evils of violence, abuse and rape. We invite all of you to work with government in building a safe and caring society.
Congratulations to the Class of 2012 and specifically to matriculants who are today being honoured by the Kwa-Thema Central Methodist Church. We expect more from you.
I thank all our learners, some of whom are here, for the exceptional work they put into their education last year, preparing for a better tomorrow today.
To the 2013 learners, as I’ve said before, if you choose a path of righteousness and brighten the corner where you are there would be no reason why you should not make it.
Thank you once again Rev Matsepe, the Central Methodist Church and the community of Kwa-Thema. And thank you for making us a part of the Kwa-Thema Central Methodist Church.
Working together we can do more to improve the quality of education. Keya leboga!