The provincial government said it will -- through the Department of Education and Sport Development -- take decisive action to redirect more education resources to schools in the province’s villages, townships and small dorpies (VTSD).
This was announced by North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo while addressing hundreds of high school principals and Schools Governing Bodies (SGBs) chairpersons in Rustenburg recently.
The Premier called the meeting to thank school principals, teachers, SGB members and parents for the support shown to learners during the 2016 schooling year, and to encourage them to continue enforcing efficiency and discipline at all schools.
The Premier said focusing on rural schools is consistent with the provincial government’s VTSD strategy and its efforts to fight poverty. This will also help to ensure that quality teaching and learning takes place at all schools in the province.
“While we are pleased by the performance of the province in the 2016 matric exams, the fact that schools in urban areas continue to perform far better than those in rural areas remains our concern.
“Radical action must therefore be [taken] to ensure that the contribution of VTSD schools in the province’s overall pass rate is pleasingly visible,” said the Premier.
The province achieved a pass rate of 86.2% in the 2016 matric exams.
From this year onwards, the province will announce matric results per village, township and small dorpie. Premier Mahumapelo also expressed concern about the seemingly high discrepancy between the number of learners who started Grade 1 in 2005 and those who wrote the 2016 matric examinations.
According to the Department of Education and Sport Development, approximately 80 000 learners started Grade 1 in 2005, and only 32 049 wrote the 2016 National Senior Certificate exams.
“While we note that there could be various reasons for this difference, it remains my dream as a leader that every learner who starts school in Grade 1 must complete [after] 12 years, and that every learner who is doing Grade 12 must pass.”
Premier Mahumapelo was accompanied by Education and Sport Development MEC Sello Lehari and Finance, Economy and Enterprise Development MEC Wendy Nelson at the meeting.
The Premier expressed his satisfaction with the readiness of the province on the first day of schools reopening, saying so far, 98% of schools across the province have received the learner support material they require.