Matric pass rate drops

Janet Ranna, in the middle, with her daughter, Jannilee, and niece, Anthea, both Good Hope High School pupils.

Two Kraaifontein schools have seen their matric pass rates nosedive.

Scottsville Secondary School’s pass rate plummeted from 70.3% in 2016 to just 41.6% in 2017, while Wallacedene’s virtually halved from 63.4% to 34.3%.

Wallacedene Secondary’s principal Pauline Mcako said she was not happy with the results and would work on improvements for 2018.

It was also a disappointing year for Wallacedene’s Hector Peterson Secondary School: the school had kept its pass rate above 70% since 2014, but it dropped to 65% for 2017.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced the national matric pass rate of 75.1% — up by 2.6% from 72.5% in 2016 — on Thursday January 4, although matrics in the Western Cape only got their results a day later.

The province came third, with a pass rate of 82.8%, down by 3% from 2016 and behind Free State with 86% and Gauteng with 85%.

Brackenfell High School scored a 97.9% pass, down from 99.4% in 2016. But while the pass rate dropped, the number of distinctions rose among the 277 matrics who sat the exams.

Principal Jannie Muller said the school had 23 matrics with A aggregates compared to 16 the previous year, and 61% of the cohort bagged a bachelor’s pass, granting them university access.

“I would like to say congratulations to everyone; I am very proud of all. I would like to thank the teachers and parents for their efforts,” said Mr Muller.

Top pupil Alida Brown achieved a 93.1% aggregate with seven distinctions, six above 90%, while Heike Muller had eight distinctions.

Alida was thrilled with her final results and spent her Friday afternoon celebrating with some friends.

“I was not very positive about my exams, especially maths and science. I always do well, but I did not expect to do this well,” she said.

De Kuilen High School, in Kuils River, received 96.5%, dropping from 99.7% the previous year.

Two hundred of the 282 candidates earned bachelor’s passes. Top pupil Edson Shivuri achieved 90% with eight distinctions.

Good Hope High School, in Sarepta, achieved a 77.3% pass rate.

“We are putting plans in place to support our learners, unfortunately we did no meet our desired result, 48 learners registered to write their finals and 34 passed,” said deputy principal Romeo de Buys.

The pass rate at Masibambane Secondary School, in Bloekombos, dropped from 87.5% in 2016 to 84.8% in 2017, but a third of the school’s 257 candidates earned bachelor’s passes.

Principal Rajan Naidoo said nine candidates had A aggregates.

“To improve things in 2018, we need to analyse our results and make changes after the first term, such as working with smaller groups, focusing on learners who are at risk of failing and spending more time motivating parents as well as learners, as sacrifices come from both sides. I am confident that in 2018 we will achieve above 90% pass rate,” he said.

Kuils River Technical Secondary School’s pass rate dipped slightly from 72.5% in 2016 to 71.3% for 2017, but that was still well above the pass rates below 50% it scored in earlier years. The school had 14 bachelor’s passes.

Principal Quinton Pick said he was happy with the results and thanked teachers, pupils and parents for their “collective effort”. Education MEC Debbie Schäfer said the Western Cape once again had the highest percentage of bachelor’s passes in the country with 39.1% of the province’s matrics achieving this quality pass.

“We are currently analysing the results to determine which schools did not perform well and in which subject areas. Once the results have been analysed we will engage with senior management regarding a strategy for improving the results at the end of 2018,” she said.