Reduced pass rate cause for concern

POLITICAL parties and unions have expressed concern at the reduced pass rate of matriculants for 2009.

POLITICAL parties and unions have expressed concern at the reduced pass rate of matriculants for 2009.

Yesterday, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said the 2009 matric pass rate dropped from 62,5percent in 2008 to 60,7percent last year.

This means more than 200000 pupils failed matric in 2009.

"I am most unhappy with the decline in the national pass rate and indeed in the overall pass rate of just over 60percent," the she said.

"The National Senior Certificate is an important indicator of the quality of our education system, and as a country we cannot afford to allow our young people to achieve results that are in the main average or below average."

But, president of the National Youth Development Agency Andile Lungisa said he was satisfied with the results.

"There were factors such as the recession, which put a strain on a lot of poor families last year, hence some learners could not perform to their best.

The South African Democratic Teachers Union congratulated successful matriculants but urged the government to do more to help needy schools.

"Overcrowding is still a reality in many schools . and we must not lose sight of our vision for a holistic education, which includes sports, arts and culture," spokesperson Nomusa Cembi said.

The National Professional Teachers Organisation of South Africa said more needed to be done to improve mathematics, science and English results.

"A strategy should be put in place to ensure that suitably qualified teachers are appointed in these posts," its president Ezrah Ramasehla said .

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