On the 23rd of February 2021, matrics all around the country held their breath as matric results were released almost a full two months into the year. The Department of Basic Education (DBE) announced that the matric pass rate for 2020 came to 76.1%. This is a whopping drop of 5.1% if you compare the 2019 results which came to 81.3%. We are all very well aware that COVID turned the world upside down last year, especially when it comes to the education landscape, but this just goes to show that the South African education system is nowhere near efficient enough to cater for all learners in different parts of the country.
The Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, went as far as to say that she was pleased with the results even despite the plummeting drop as results are apparently partially skewed as the department included ‘progressing learner’ who would have not written matric exams in a traditional school year. The ‘pleasing’ results at a provincially are as per the below:
SEVEN Limpopo schools recorded a 0% pass rate! But the results are pleasing? When we look at the Bachelor Degree passes, Gauteng came out on top with only 45%. A big concern going forward is that learners will feel pressured to drop Mathematics and Physical Sciences for easier options in order to create an easier path for them to actually pass with the major loss in academic time in 2020.
Unfortunately, the poor and rural provinces have a very steep hill to climb. They don’t only have to worry about not having access to online teaching resources if another crisis lockdown hits, they have to worry about basic sanitation, water, hunger, electricity, and many other factors that keep learners from actually attending a school that is even equipped to provide them with a basic education!
We now eagerly await our next ‘family meeting’ to see which lockdown level next awaits us and the fate that is going to be carved out for learners all over the country. How about we stop throwing money into disaster relief funds that magically disappear without any explanation or writing cheques to change names of cities that nobody can pronounce and ensure our leaders of tomorrow all have the same opportunity to further their education and get a headstart in life? The time to blame COVID has come and gone, Mister President. It is time to step up!
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