- The ANC Primary Education Working Group is “delighted” with the results of the exam and “appreciates” the improvement in pass rates.
- It praised Angie Motshekga, Minister of Basic Education, her deputy, the MECs and the department that it wants to “continue this positive trajectory”.
- Less impressed was the prosecutor, who issued a report to Motshekga and said there was “room for improvement”.
While the ANC working group on basic education praised Angie Motshekga, primary education minister, for the recent exam results, the prosecutor gave her a “report card”, saying there was “room for improvement”.
The ANC study group – the party’s MPs who sit on the Primary Education Portfolio Committee – said in a statement that it was “delighted at the significant improvement in the performance of the 2022 matric class across all provinces”.
“The 2022 primary class is a historic cohort as the coronavirus pandemic has significantly impacted progress in grades 10 and 11. They were also impacted by the recent disruptions caused by the tax shedding. This cohort has shown the resilience and Demonstrated the youth’s commitment to learning.
“Their achievements are a testament to the enormous work of the Department of Basic Education to restore the curriculum and continue learning under difficult conditions,” said Nombuyiselo Adoons, the ANC whip on the committee.
“We commend the work of Minister Angie Motshekga, the Deputy Minister, Dr Reginah Mhaule, MECs in all nine provinces, and the department staff for their efforts and dedication to strengthen our education system.”
The study group said they “appreciate” the improvement in the National Senior Certificate (NSC) pass rate for 2022 from 76.4% to 76.4% in 2021.
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“The department should continue this positive trajectory. We are pleased that the bachelor’s rate of students from ‘free’ schools has increased by 13.4% from 2021. This is a qualitative improvement that represents progress in improving the conditions of the poor through education.,” it said.
“We welcome the overall performance improvement across all provinces, particularly the significant increases in KwaZulu-Natal at 6.2%, Limpopo at 5.3% and Eastern Cape at 4.2%. We also applaud the Free State for consistently the best performing province for consecutive years.”
Less impressed was the DA spokesman for basic education, Baxolile Nodada, who also sits on the committee.
In a statement of his own, he said it is “only fair” that Motshekga’s efforts are also being evaluated.
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For “basic stage results,” he gave her a D and said, “Due to ongoing Covid-19 lockdowns and the disruptions to education, students are up to two years behind in reading and math.”
For “Teacher Development” he gave Motshekga an F.
According to Nodada, by 2022 there were 1 575 unqualified and underqualified teachers teaching in classrooms.
“A SACMEQ [Southern and Eastern Africa Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality] study measuring teachers’ knowledge revealed that South Africa cannot match its African counterparts. South African teachers struggled to pass tests in the subjects they teach, with grade 6 teachers getting results of less than 50% – 41% for maths, 37% for reading subjects,” he said.
He added that the Auditor General found that the South African Council for Educators “was struggling to produce credible performance reports”.
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Nodada gave Motshekga another F for “dropouts” – a perpetual concern for the prosecutor.
“Dropouts remain a major problem. The actual pass rate for the exam in 2022 was only 54.6%, with a dropout rate of 31.8%,” he said.
Motshekga got another F for “school safety”.
“The second quarter crime statistics for 2022/23 revealed 83 rapes and 19 murders committed in primary, secondary and secondary schools, daycare centers, special schools and tertiary institutions,” Nodada said. “258 cases of assault/grievous bodily harm and 22 cases of attempted murder occurred in educational buildings.”
Motshekga’s grades, as awarded by Nodada, improved with “native language teaching”, for which he gave her a C.
“Despite numerous local and international studies demonstrating the benefits of mother tongue teaching, it remains a contentious issue with relatively few single-medium schools, especially in the indigenous languages,” he said.
“Progress has been made towards the expansion of mother tongue education, with isiXhosa and Sesotho being tested as languages of instruction after the basic phase in the Eastern Cape.”
For “quality of education” Nodada gave Motshekga a D.
“Minister Motshekga has a lot of room for improvement. While her department has a number of valuable initiatives, they will not succeed without focus and a concerted effort to address and resolve the numerous serious concerns plaguing the South African education system,” said Nodada.