There were scenes of joy and jubilation on Friday January 4, when matriculants received their National Senior Certificate (NSC) results.
However, some schools were left disappointed as they recorded lower pass rates than the previous year.
Four schools in the Kraaifontein, Brackenfell and Kuils River areas have seen their matric results take a knock this year.
At Scottsdene High School, principal Peter Links blamed the “Year in Phase policy” for their 10% drop in pass rate.
Mr Links had a look of disgust on his face when telling Northern News about the 10% drop in his matric results from the previous year.
In 2017 Scottsdene High School scored 83.5% overall despite many challenges faced by pupils who come from poverty and who would have to dodge gangsters’ bullets on their way to school and many of them come from disadvantaged backgrounds (“Scottsdene school shines despite challenges”, Northern News, January 24 2018).
However, Mr Links said the 74.3% pass rate they recorded in the 2018 exam had been due to the policy of progressing pupils who had failed a certain phase, such as Grade 10 or 11, to the next grade. could not be a result of the challenges the pupils face but he slammed the Western Cape Education Departments “Year in Phase policy.”
This policy, according to WCED’s website, says if a learner fails in a certain phase, for example Grade 10 or 11, they cannot fail the grade again but need to progress to the next grade.Pupils can only be kept back once.
He said the policy had caused major issues for teachers, especially when they did not get support from parents.
“I am not satisfied with this drop at all. Most of our failures are learners that were put over to the next grades,” he said.
Mr Links said throughout the year his pupils’ results were monitored and those who fell in the danger zone would have their parents called in to intervene.
“Only one or two parents rocked up at our meetings, we received little support,” he said.
On the other hand, Mr Links was excited to share that his top matriculant, James Hess, received three distinctions and there were 23 Bachelor’s degree passes, 53 diploma passes and 31 higher certificates.
Good Hope High School in Kuils River recorded a pass rate of above 70% in the past four years but in 2018 they dropped to 52.4%.
Northpine Technical School obtained 55.1% compared to 81.8% in 2017 while Scottsville High School scored a dismal 30.9%, down from 41.6% in the previous year and 70.3% in 2016.
There was better news at Wallacedene Secondary School, which improved from 34.3% in 2017 to 51.6% in 2018.
Principal Paulene Mckaco said she is not entirely happy with the pass rate but says it proved that her plans to involve parents in the pupils’ progress could help them achieve a 100% pass rate in 2019.
“I will work harder by getting more parents involved in their children’s education. This is what we did in the past year and with more support from parents we can have more support for pupils,” she said.
Meanwhile, other schools came closer to the 100% pass rate.
Brackenfell High School scored a 99.2% pass rate, up from the previous year’s 97.9% with 217 pupils out of 249 receiving Bachelor’s degree passes and 14 pupils earning distinctions.
Principal Jannie Muller, principal at Brackenfell High School said he is happy with the pass rate but will continue working towards 100%.
“Many challenges were at our doors this year, such as dealing with learners who come from broken homes, but as staff we stepped in to help them. This is called having a guardian teacher,” he said.
Masibambane High School among the shacks in Bloekombos scored an 87.2% pass rate with 89 Bachelor’s passes.
School principal Rajan Naidoo said motivating a learner to be better everyday, will help them achieve good results.
“This school has supported these learners as they come from the shacks, most of them don’t have a place to study or a proper meal to eat but we continued feeding them and keeping our classrooms open in order for them to study. Their hard work paid off.”
De Kuilen High School scored a 98.1% compared to 96.5% from the previous year.
Principal Herman Mellet said he is proud of his pupils. learners but hoped they scored above 90%.
The top three, Joel Grosch, Joshua Herbert, Taryn Ehrenreich, all scored above 80% and received distinctions in all seven of their subjects.
“We have done slightly better from the previous year and I am quite happy with the increase but I believe that this year we will aim for our 100% pass rate,” he said.