Equal Education


Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Equal Education (EE) congratulates the class of 2010, their teachers, education department officials, and welcomes the matric results.

Equal Education head of policy, communication and research Yoliswa Dwane said as follows: “Bearing in mind that a pass is 3 subjects at 30% and 3 subjects at 40%, improvements are always to be welcomed. We are cautiously encouraged. However, this improvement in the overall pass rate hides the massive inequalities within provinces between rich and poor. It is the performance of our poorest schools that should be the true benchmark of success – this has not yet been subjected to public scrutiny.”

Dwane went on to say: “In order to translate this into a sustained improvement a number of crucial steps must be urgently taken. Firstly, the Minister must, as she has repeatedly promised, establish minimum norms and standards for school infrastructure. She is called upon to do so by Section5A of the SA Schools Act. Only with such norms and standards can we eradicate the 400 mud-schools in the Eastern Cape, and ensure that the poorest schools get libraries and laboratories. Secondly, she must revise the way teacher posts are allocated. Incentives for teachers to teach in township and rural schools are an urgent priority if class sizes of over 50 learners are to be reduced. Thirdly, we need to address the decline in the mathematics pass rate, which is serious cause for concern. Maths, more than anything else, reflects the cognitive development of young people, their ability to handle complex tasks, and to pursue careers in science and engineering. These opportunities are denied to the majority of our young people. EE is a movement for all people of this country who want to struggle to change this.”

The overall pass rate of 67,8 percent (which is a marked improvement on the 60,7 percent of 2009) hides the hugely unequal results within our education system. The real questions are:


  • What happened in township and rural schools? We urge the media to insist on getting ‘disaggregated’ or regional results which will show an area like Khayelitsha or Alexandra in comparison to Rondebosch or Sandton. These results can be obtained from education district offices, or from provinces.
  • The 2010 matric class began school in 1999 as a class of 1,318,932 learners. According to the Department of Basic Education media statement 643,546 sat for matric exams in 2010. This means less than half made it to matric. This means the true pass rate is only half of what it appears. What happened to these learners?
  • EE commits itself to working with learners, parents, teachers, communities and government officials at every level to understand the improvement, and to sustain this improvement into the future. Given the seemingly dramatic increase, what were the factors that led to such an increase?

For comment:

  • Dmitri Holzman 0827335000
  • Yoliswa Dwane 0798677890
  • Brad Brockman 0722678489


Spread the word