South Africa: Statement By Eastern Cape Education MEC Mandla Makupula On the Occasion of the 2012 Release of Matric Results

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Madam Premier,

Members of the Provincial Executive Council,

Members of the Provincial Legislature,

Heads of Department,

Other Distinguished Guests,

Members of the Media Fraternity.

Heartfelt gratitude for the opportunity to release Class of 2012 Grade 12 examinations results on this important day in the education calendar. Taking cue from the Minister of Basic Education, Mrs. Angie Motshekga, who presented a comprehensive picture of the our country's overall performance last night, I would also like to welcome all of you to this important annual gathering as we seek to present an objective assessment of how the department has performed in the past academic year.

The 2012 academic year has seen the department regaining its composure, focus and grounding as we mainstreamed a mutually consented to mechanism of coalescing and integrating all the available intervention initiatives, both home-grown and introduced through the Section 100 (1) (b). Indeed, despite a plethora of hurdles that we faced, which ultimately had a direct bearing on our schools' capacity to maximise contact time in the classroom, we can confidently assert that we have succeeded in stabilising the system and started on a back to basics initiative that seeks to restore the fundamental tenets of a transforming organisation.

2012 learner registration

  • 87 763 candidates were registered comprising 69 098 full-time and 18 665 part-time candidates

  • Candidates wrote the examinations in 928 registered full-time and 135 part-time Examination Centres

  • Each registered candidate was provided with a question papers for the 29 registered National Curriculum Statement (NCS) subjects and there were no shortages

Question papers: Printing, packaging and distribution

  • Grade 12 National Senior Certificate question papers were set nationally and Eastern Cape took sole responsibility for printing, packaging and distribution of question papers involving approximately 19,2 million sheets (30 tons of paper)

  • 88 question papers were provided, 42 being languages and 46 were content subjects

  • Despite inclement weather and closure of several main arterial roads, the distribution and delivery of question papers and answer booklets went off smoothly with use of a contingency plan.

  • Marking took place from the 1st to the 13th of December 2012. Most importantly, the department has managed to retain its clean record of credible and trouble free examinations.

Additionally, we have sought to elevate our core business: "Teaching and Learning", and in the process, implemented strategies meant to salvage lost teaching time. This was done with all the district personnel, community members and individuals who have the interest of the learner at heart.

Apart from the strides carried out by the department, the National Intervention Team as mandated by the Minister's Section 100 (a) intervention helped the department to focus on critical aspects that have been leading to the underperformance.

Most importantly, I would like to, once again, complement those teachers who have observed the triple Ts:

  • Teaching;
  • Time
  • Textbooks

2012 LAIS intervention plans

The Eastern Cape LAIS plan for 2012 focused on improving learner performance in all grades from R to 12, and specific areas were projectised and targeted for intervention

  • Grade 12 under-performance was addressed in a variety of ways ranging from establishing residential camps/day school centres, use of specialised subject teachers as expert tutors, peer-driven learner study groups, mobilising communities and civil society, provision of additional learning/teaching support material, to customising levels and intensity of interventions to serve individual schools' needs
  • Special focus was given to identified under-performing Further Education and Training (FET) schools, as well as national gateway subjects such as Languages, Maths and Sciences, and Provincial under-performing subjects such as Accounting and Business Studies.
  • Programmes worthy of special mention that were operationalised to improve Grade 12 learner performance in 2012 are: The Ilima Project providing extra tuition, Winter/Spring Schools, Matric Question & Answer Series Volumes 1 and 2, Life Orientation "Teen Active Support", development of teacher subject content knowledge and skills, & Maths &Science learner incubation initiative.
  • In this respect, a LAIS Summit was convened to direct our interventions in 2013 and more so, key teaching and learning deliverables to effect a turnaround have been adopted and communicated to education stakeholders. Hence, 2013 has been declared the year to move from "Theory to Action", and from 'Policy to Practice'

Announcement of results - Class of 2012 Grade 12s

  • The provincial pass rate for 2012 is 61.6%, which represents an increase of 3.5%. I am proud to announce this upward movement. The last time we performed above 60% was in 2003 when we achieved 61.1%.
  • Top performing districts for 2012 are:
  • 1st is Cofimvaba with a pass rate of 72.5% an increase of 3.2%;
  • 2nd is Cradock with 72.3%, a slight decrease of 1.5%;
  • Maluti, with 71.9% and a slight increase of 0.1%
  • Most improved district for 2012 is Libode with a pass rate of 59.4%. This is with a massive increase of 19.5%. Other districts that showed improvement are Butterworth which rose to 53.9% an increase of 8.1%, and Sterkspruit which rose to 56.1%, an increase of 7%.
  • The 3 worst performing districts for 2012 are:
  • Fort Beaufort with 44.7% pass rate;
  • Qumbu with 49.1%; and
  • Mt Frere with 49.6%

These are the only districts in our province that achieved pass rate below 50%.

Districts that showed a heavy drop in pass rate are:

  • Qumbu which dropped by 10.3%;
  • Ngcobo which dropped 9.4%; and
  • Lady Frere which dropped by 4.2%

We are disappointed with the performance of these district listed above.

District performances that are below 60% has been reduced from 11 in 2011 to 10 in 2012.

  • There are 30 schools in our province that obtained a pass rate of 100%, and, of these schools, Hudson Park High had the highest enrolment of 222 Grade 12 learners, followed closely by Stirling High school with 216 learners both in East London district. Special compliments to Mpondombini Senior Secondary school, in Bizana, that produced 100% pass rate for 66 learners.
  • There are 11 schools that obtained a pass rate of 10% and below, with 3 lowest pass rates at Dlulisa Senior secondary in Butterworth, with 4.5%, Mpingana Senior Secondary in Lusikisiki with 4.7% and Dilizintaba Senior secondary with 5.3% pass rate.
  • For the first time in many years, there are no schools with a 0% pass rate.
  • Moving from quantity pass rates to quality pass rate, I am pleased to announce:
  • an increase in our Bachelor's pass rate from 27.1% in 2011 to 28.5% in 2012, which is a slight increase of 1.4%;
  • in terms of numbers this translates to 11 246 candidates in 2012, compared to 10 291 in 2011
  • The analysis of Distinctions (which is included in your packs) also attest to the gradual qualitative improvement in the Department's output incrementally over the past three years.
  • With regards to subject performance which drives the overall provincial pass rate, I wish to indicate the following:

There is a slight increase in most subjects, with the national gateway subjects of Mathematics and Science improving 4.6% and 4.4% respectively.

Our provincial Maths pass rate has now increased to 38.1% and Physical Science to 50.4%. However, there was a drop in Life Science by 1.6% from 65.1% in 2011 to 63.5% in 2012.

Performance in Home Languages remained stable with pass rate ranging from 99 to 100%. It is pleasing to note that:

1. English 1st Additional language performance rose to 95.1%,

2. An increase of 2.2% and Afrikaans 1st Additional Language also rose 2.2% to 95.9% in 2012.

High enrolment subjects that showed good improvement rates are:

1. History which increased by 13.4% to 77.8%;

2. Economics by 8.8% to 63.7%;

3. Geography increased by 4.6% to 66.4%;

4. Agricultural Science rose by 5.4% to 78.6%;

5. Accounting went up by 1.4% to 61.5% pass rate in 2012.

The only high enrolment subject that declined was Business studies by 0.2% and now stands at 72%. Subjects that declined were mainly the low enrolment ones e.g.: Design dropped by 4.7%; and High Enrolment Content Subjects.

We have also made a significant improvement in the performance of learners in the range below 30% as is indicated in the following outline:

Agricultural Science has experienced a 5% decline with under 30% coming down from 26.3 to 21.3

Economics has experienced a 6.9% decline with under 30% coming down from 43.2% to 36.3%.

The department has noted the decline in the enrolment figures for Mathematics, Science and Accounting, let alone the low pass rate. It is an area that we commit to follow up on and develop strategies to act on it. We are committed to decisive Human Capital Development. The truisms: "You can buy textbooks for the learner, but you can never buy a teacher; and equally you can buy an engine but you can never buy an engineer" remain valid in this day and age.

Teaching & learning priorities for 2013

As we move towards the start of the 2013 school year, all personnel at head office, districts and schools are requested to note the key priorities and deliverables for the 2013 academic year. These priorities have been endorsed by the extended Top Management of the Eastern Cape Department of Education and should be the focus of implementation at all levels of the provincial education system. 2013 has been declared the year to move from "Theory to Action", "Policy to Practice".

The provincial teaching and learning priorities for the 2013 academic year have been drawn in the main from four core documents: "Action Plan 2014", "ECP 2012/13 Turnaround Plan", "ECP 2012/13 Learner Attainment Improvement Strategy" Resolutions, and the "2012/13 National Strategy for Learner Attainment" and its action plan.

The provincial teaching and learning priorities for 2013 articulated below are intended to inform Planning, Implementation, Monitoring and Support at 3 levels, namely: Provincial, District, and School.

Key deliverables for 2013 General Education & Training (GET) curriculum deliverables: (Grades R to 9)

Literacy and Numeracy Improvement Strategy: National strategies and provincial Annual National Assessment (ANA) Improvement Plan Framework to inform the development of District / School / Grade / Class customised improvement plans for 2013.

National Curriculum Statement (NCS): CAPS Orientation and Implementation: CAPS orientation of Grades 7-9 to be conducted at Provincial/ District/ Cluster levels and other implementing grades to ensure full CAPS compliance.

Subject Committees & Subject Improvement Plans: Subject Committees must be sustained / established in the GET Band at Provincial/District/Circuit levels, with special focus on Subject Improvement Plans, School-Based Assessment (SBA) and Teacher Development.

Further education & training (FET) curriculum deliverables: (Grades 10 to 12)

Grade 12 Learner Support: Support strategies will be informed by special emphasis on Maths, Sciences and Languages, as well as other identified under-performing Subjects. The Department must also implement learner motivation programme.

Subject Improvement Plans (Grades 10 to 12): Ensure utilisation of DBE Grade 12 NSC Diagnostic Reports, UMALUSI Subject Reports, 2012 Examiners' and Moderators' Reports, ECP Analysis of Grade 12 NSC Results, and School Diagnostic Analysis of Provincial 2012 Grade 11 Exams etc. to inform development of Provincial / District / School / Grade / Class individually customised Subject Improvement Plans.

NCS - CAPS Orientation and Implementation: CAPS orientation for Grade 12 teachers and full implementation in Grades 10-11.

Maths and Science Strategy: A holistic Maths and Science Improvement Strategy crafted and operationalised at provincial / district / school levels, mindful of national annual targets set up to 2014.

Subject Committees: Sustaining and establishing Subject Committees in the FET Band at Provincial/District/Circuit levels, with special focus on Subject Improvement Plans, School - Based Assessment (SBA) and Teacher Development.

Under-Performing GET & FET Schools

The 2012 ANA results at District /School levels and the 2012 NSC results at District / School levels shall be used to identify under-performance in the GET & FET Bands.

Dedicated teams of District officials will be allocated to each under-performing school in 2013. Such teams will use the key deliverables discussed above to direct their monitoring and support of under-performing schools. Moreover, dedicated Provincial teams will monitor & support under-performing districts.

Conclusion: "One step backwards and two steps forward"

The 2012 matric results depict one thing: we have taken one step backward and two steps forward, moving along with ordinary people. We have done all these efforts because our greatest heroes are ordinary people who continue to make tremendous sacrifices and immense contributions: we must never fail them.

Thank you!

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