16 January 2018

South Africa: Western Cape Needs More Teachers Despite Good Matric Results

The principal of a Western Cape high school, which has improved its matric pass rate significantly, from 64.4% in 2016 to 79.5% in 2017, has pleaded for more teachers.

During a congratulatory visit from DA spokesperson on basic education, Nomsa Machersi, on Tuesday, Fisantekraal High School principal Leopold Vries stressed the need for support from government structures.

"We need more support when it comes to things like getting more educators. We have 1 000 students and there is a dire need for more specialised posts in science and mathematics.

"Our district [education department] has been helpful - last year we got two extra posts so we got 32 teachers, but this year we lost those teachers," said Vries.

Vries also pointed out several challenges pupils faced, such as substance abuse, ill-discipline and a lack of family support structures.

He believes that, despite the school's impressive performance, these factors have contributed to the large drop-out rate.

"In 2015 we had 166 learners in Grade 10, but in 2017 we had 93 in matric. There's a lot more that can be done," he added.

Machersi said the DA was visiting well-performing schools, which operate under challenging socio-economic conditions in an attempt to learn from them. "We have 80% of our learners [in South Africa] from challenged areas - no resources, no teachers - and they are unable to perform as well as children from [privileged schools]. It's actually a good thing to learn from the schools that do well despite these issues," she said.

Machersi also expressed how impressed she was with the school's matric results.

"For a school like this to achieve these kind of results is something that we are proud of and we just wanted to congratulate the teachers," she said.

Source: News24

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