Open letter to South Africa’s students‚ universities and government‚ represented by Minister in the .
Critical appraisal always follows the matric results while the government recommits itself to produce better results in future.
The hype after the results are released shows that the country aspires and takes seriously the need to produce adequately-prepared pupils for higher learning. But the attitude on performance without looking at performance in the lower grades clouds the root cause for the unsatisfactory performance. This approach is shallow, artificial and inconsistent.
The Education Department is only interested in how many pupils passed, but critical questions are, how many achieved university exemption, passed maths and science, are African and from poor and rural backgrounds?
This is crucial if we are to redress the legacy of apartheid and the rich and poor gap which emerged since 1994.
An inquiry must interrogate the root causes of poor performance, to instil a culture of excellent performance among teachers and pupils.
The inquiry must take into account both parties, including the role of parents. Difficult working conditions and poor salaries must also be addressed. Teaching and examining pupils in their vernacular will greatly improve performance, but the department is not moving at all on this score. Congratulations to all pupils who passed.
Hulisani Mmbara, president: Payco, Johannesburg