Education expert Susan van Rensburg has again reiterated her view that better support structures must be put in place to ensure that struggling provinces like the Eastern Cape produce better matric pass rates.

Van Rensburg was commenting just hours ahead of the matric results announcement this evening by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga.

Van Rensburg says the key is to offer better education to lower grades.

“It has been the same for the last 7 years, which means that the present code of Grade 12 learners would have been in Grade 5, 7 years ago. So, it means that they didn’t even have proper support all along from the bottom that enhanced their achievement. So, it is supporting them right from the beginning so they can get strong enough, that they can eventually achieve good pass rates. But otherwise ,any other contingency plans that were made proved not to be effective.”

The Eastern Cape has been the worst-performing province for the past two years, with a dismal pass rate of 59.3% in 2016.

Van Rensburg says the only solution to this is the province re-angling its contingency plans to improve the results.

“It has been the same for the last seven years which means that the present code of Grade 12 learners would have been in Grade 5, 7 years ago. So, it means that they didn’t even have proper support all along from the bottom that enhanced their achievement. So, it is supporting them right from the beginning, so they can get strong enough that they can eventually achieve good pass rates. But otherwise any other contingency plans that were made proved not to be effective.”

Matriculants in Port Elizabeth continue to wait anxiously for their results. They say they are optimistic, despite the province’s reputation of poor performance.

“I’m hoping and praying for the best. My way forward is hopefully to go to university and do radiology. That is something I’m really passionate about,” says one of the learners.

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