Pretoria - The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Limpopo is calling on Premier Stan Mathabatha to fire Limpopo MEC for Education, Polly Boshielo after the province scored the lowest pass rate in the 2021 matric examinations.
Risham Maharaj, acting DA Limpopo spokesperson for education, said Mathabatha should keep his promise to hold MECs accountable for their performance.
“This follows the province's shambolic matric results that saw it achieve the lowest matric pass rate of all the provinces at 66.7% and the only province that failed to reach the 70% pass rate. The 2021 matric results are a 1.5 percentage point decline from the 2020 results and follow a pattern of regression in the province's performance,” said Maharaj.
He said Limpopo also had the lowest bachelor pass percentage of all the provinces, with only 26.7 percent of learners achieving that level.
“The bachelor pass rate dropped from 29,1 percent in 2020 to 26,7 percent in 2021, while the pass rate amongst progressed learners regressed from 35.6 percent in 2020 to 32.9 percent in 2021. Of the ten worst performing districts in the country, six of them are in Limpopo. Moreover, about 137 schools failed to achieve a 40 percent pass rate,” said Maharaj.
“The DA is further concerned by the large discrepancy in performance between learners in fee paying schools as opposed to no fee paying schools. 89.1 percent of fee paying learners passed, with 55,5 percent achieving bachelor passes [3rd best nationally, while only 64.7 percent of no fee paying learners passed and only 24 percent achieved bachelor passes [7th nationally].”
From the “poor showing” in the matric exams, the DA insisted that it was clear that the Limpopo Department of Education:
- Must revisit the funding model for no fee schools and increase funding to ensure improved performance.
- Needs to offer more support to districts in the province, and improve monitoring and evaluation of the circuit and district offices throughout the year.
- Offer more support to progressed learners to better prepare them for the exams
- Increase support to all learners during the Covid-19 period
- Ensure that there are suitably qualified educators and address all challenges that contribute to poor exam performance such as scholar transport, the school nutrition programme and infrastructure issues.
Maharaj said Mathabatha had indicated in the past that the service delivery agreements would be based on an outcomes based approach, and he would hold MECs accountable to measure targets.
“He must replace MEC Boshielo after continuous poor matric results in the province,” said Maharaj.
At the same the DA congratulated the 70 124 learners in the province who passed the matric exam, especially the 28 072 who achieved bachelor passes.
“The DA believes our learners in the province deserve more support and a better quality of education than they are currently getting. We are committed to ending the continued downward trajectory of our education system in Limpopo,” said Maharaj.