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Batho Pele Principles

3.8% Matric pass rate improvement satisfactory, says Acting HOD for Education

By: Maano Nekhavhambe

Despite finishing last on the national matric results’ charts, the Limpopo Province Department of Education have welcomed a drastic pass rate improvement of 2018.

 

Limpopo registered an increase of 3.8% pass rate during the academic year 2018, climbing from 65.6% pass rate of 2017, by acquiring an overall 69.4% pass rate much to the delight of Deputy Director General Curriculum and Acting Head of Department (HOD) Dr Komane Mphahlele.

“Being number last does not indicate lack of improvement. If we compare ourselves against ourselves in the past two years, we can see that we have managed to improve. If we take the 2017 results, we improved by 3.2% and we must welcome that because from 2014 to 2016 we have been going down from 72% to 65%.” Mphahlele said

“And any arrest of the decline and improvement is something that we must welcome. Now in 2018, we have improved more than how we improved in 2017. We have improved by 3.8% and we should celebrate that.”

The Bachelors’ Pass rate have also improved in the last two years by 2.1% with the number of underperforming schools being reduced by half which is also regarded as a welcomed development within the provincial education system.

The other indicators that reflects improvement are the gateway subjects which are Mathematics, Physical Sciences and Life Sciences. The performance has amended in those subjects despite learners still having challenges in some of the strategic areas that has links’ with the economy such as Agricultural Science.

The Pass rate in Agricultural Science did not improve in percentage terms but in numerical terms the Department of Education has seen more learners enrolling for this subject.

However, Mphahlele said that the Department is elated to see that they are improving at an average rate of 3.5% and they do not see how this would regress heading forward because as they are progressing, they are also tightening their systems and they intend to do it persistently and consistently.

Meanwhile, the Vhembe District remains the top performing district in the province after accumulating 76.6% pass rate.

Vhembe District were represented by 19 993 learners and a total of 15 322 managed to pass.

Mbilwi Secondary School again made the Vhembe District proud. They were the best performing school in Limpopo, with two of their learners Khuthadzo Anthel Mavhina and Mikano Ndodzo being the top matriculants in the province.

Mbilwi Secondary School is well known for accumulating 100% pass rates’ over the years but despite a 96.7% pass rate of 2018, the school Principal Mr Nyambeni Cedrick Lidzhade expressed his dissatisfactions at a manner in which they performed.

”We are happy with the way we have performed but we are not satisfied with the results but there’s always a room for improvement. We would be happier if all our learners passed by flying colours. And if we are still having some learners passing with low marks we can’t be satisfied as a school.” Lidzhade laments

Lidzhade confirmed that a total of 405 learners entered for the exams but some did not write all the learning areas after deciding to have the multiple examinations option were they wrote some learning areas in October/November 2018 and will again complete the remaining ones in June 2019.

However, a total number for bachelor pass rate was 234 at the school, followed by 86 diploma pass rate and also 85 higher certificates.

As anticipated, three learners; Ndodzo, Mavhina and Tsiko Masindi, from Mbilwi Secondary School achieved 100% in Physical Sciences while Mavhina was also a highest achiever in Life Sciences across Limpopo after scoring 95%.

Adding to the school excellence, four of their educators responsible for Mathematics, Physical Science, Life Sciences and Geography subjects received the accolades for being the best educators in the province from the MEC for Education Mr Ishmael Kgetjepe during the matric results announcement at the Ranch Hotel in Polokwane.

As a way to maintain the consistency Lidzhade said “We need teacher development at all levels. The young educators must be under the mentorship of the master or experienced teachers. More experienced teacher must co-operate with young teachers. We need to maintain our conducive working environment for all teachers.”

“We don’t want to see our valuable teachers leaving the school. We as the top management must also lead by example, meaning that the Principal, his deputies and the HOD must also set the tone and go to classes to teach as well.”

Lidzhade also hinted that they have distinctive programs lined-up to sustain their excellence which includes teaching the Grade 8 and 9 pupils Mathematics and Physical Sciences every Saturday.

The program is set to commence from February and it will run until June.

The main objective of these programs is to build a strong foundation for the school.