IFP Reacts to 2014 Matric Results

“The decline in the 2014 matric results by 2.4 percent tells the story of an education system that continues to fail us in terms of wasted human talents. Out of 532, 860 candidates, who wrote matric, only 403, 874 passed, meaning 128, 986 candidates did not – this is extremely tragic” said IFP spokesperson on Education, Mr Alfred Mpontshane (MP).

This was in reaction to the release of the 2014 matric results, which show a drop from 78.2 percent in 2013 to 75.8 percent for 2014.

“Even among those who passed, many fall outside the qualifying criteria to study for a Bachelor. Our FET institutions, where the majority of our students must go, do not have a good story to tell in terms of both infrastructure and human resources. In the township lingo our education system will continue to show the signs of a ‘skoro koro car’ which is always subjected to push and start and push and start.

“The Minister, whose main task is to monitor the implementation of norms and standards, must come out strongly on the Provinces. She must ensure that principles of good governance are neither neglected nor compromised at all levels of the system. Strong leadership is one of these principles of good governance – most of the time a strong and effective school management equals a good school which produces quality education.

“Some of our schools lack this very important ingredient, hence the poor quality of results. If the decline in the pass rate is due to the raising of the bar through CAPS, as the Minister would have us believe, the question is why raise the subject content and leave behind the implementers of that content, the teachers? The fact is that there is no system in the world that is better than its teachers” said Mpontshane.

“Half measures which have up to now been adopted in the professional development of teachers have obviously not borne any educational dividends. One, two or even week-long workshops are woefully inadequate to bring our teachers up to speed. We need to bring back In-Service Training Centres, which would be manned by well experienced and qualified subject experts, who would be permanently dedicated to these centres.

“The Minister must also monitor or even review employment practices – this should include minimising or eliminating the observer status of teacher unions during interview processes. This has led to many evils, like putting wrong people into wrong positions because of political association. Bold leadership is needed on the part of the Minister – It is high time she told the public that cadre deployment is killing our education system.

“To those matriculants who intend pursuing a university career – the IFP gives them all the support they need! They must remember though that they are still going to face another entrance hurdles in the form of university point system, which indeed may be very frustrating. They must carefully choose their careers as they have several options. To those many unsung teachers who sometimes work under very trying conditions, the IFP says well done!

“To the Gauteng Province we also say well done for leading the pack. The KZN Province needs an urgent introspection to determine where things may have gone wrong which caused a decrease from 77.4 percent in 2013 to 69.7 percent in 2014! The Limpopo Province gave a good showing, despite the many challenges it faced.

“What is most troubling is that we are receiving the results from a headless department. The former DG was relieved of his duties but is still earning a salary from the department which he no longer serves – this must be looked into urgently” said Mpontshane

Issued by Mr Alfred Mpontshane, IFP MP, spokesperson on Education, 083 441 6201