Tebogo Monama

Tebogo Monama

What makes a school change from achieving more than a 70percent pass in matric results to being one of the worst performers in Gauteng?

Modiri Technical School in Mamelodi, Pretoria, was once a high achiever, but in 2007 the institution only managed to get a 40,14percent pass rate.

Last year, the pass rate went down by 27,52percent to a banal 12,62percent, making it one of the worst performing schools in the province.

The school's vice-principal, Theledi Serakoane, said: "That is the question we must put to the department.

"We used to have about 18 technical areas, and now with the new curriculum they have been compressed into only three."

He said the school was still trying to adjust to the new curriculum.

"Last year's maths results nationally were terrible and we are no different. But our school tries to produce learners that are varsity material."

The pupils at the school do not study maths literacy, only mathematics.

Though it is a technical school, it does not have a fitting and turning workshop.

"The department promised that they would give us R6,3million to upgrade it but so far nothing has happened."

The school does not have a science laboratory and shares one with two other schools.

"We are trying to dispel this perception that the school is for children who do not cope academically," said principal Nick Chauke.

Classes at Modiri Technical School are small and the 600 pupils get adequate attention from the teachers. But the classrooms are packed with outdated equipment the pupils do not use.

"The equipment is old and is not compliant with the new curriculum," said the other vice-principal, Thoko Zikhali.

Despite attending holiday camps for extra classes, the matriculants still failed their final examinations.