Gauteng Education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi, has threatened to shut down five independent schools for consistently under-performing.
Releasing the provincial matric results in Lyndhurst, Johannesburg, on Friday, Lesufi expressed disappointment that these schools are dragging down the province’s overall pass rate.
Gauteng scored an 85.1% pass rate, putting it in second place nationally, ahead of the Western Cape, but behind the Free State.
More than 20 of Gauteng’s top achievers were honoured in the presence of their parents. The event was also attended by Gauteng Premier David Makhura and Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga.
Fourteen of the fifteen districts in Gauteng achieved a pass rate of over 80% in the 2017 Matric exams.
This saw Gauteng move up into the second position nationally, even though it maintained the 85.1% pass rate it got in 2016. However, Lesufi is unhappy with the poor performance of certain independent schools, despite the support they have been receiving from the department.
“We have to attend to schools that consistently perform below par. Actually the bottom five of the poor performing schools all of them are independent schools. Parents invest in these particular schools, but these schools continue to under-perform, and as a department, we have taken a conscious decision to find a mechanism of phasing out these schools, as they are not assisting us in delivering quality education.”
Premier David Makhura has also congratulated the learners who passed. He however concurs with the MEC that under-performance must be followed by consequences.
“One of the reasons we say 2018 is the year of renewed hope, every department in our team must shape up, and every MEC in our team must shape up. Minister may I just say this is also a message to you that we expect the same from our national government. Every government department must shape up because our people expect that, and there must be consequences for those who don’t take the people seriously.”
Lesufi revealed that in March this year his department will open a special school of aviation in Ekurhuleni. A school specializing in agriculture was opened in Magaliesburg last year. Lesufi says more schools of specialization will be announced in the next 48 months.
“We have also concluded a ground-breaking agreement with Necsa. Necsa is the body that runs nuclear in our country. For the very first time in the history of our country, we’re going to have three schools of nuclear, minister. So that our children while they are still in class, they can be taught about nuclear and how it works. We have also concluded a ground-breaking agreement with BMW. That two of our schools are going to be converted into schools of BMW. Our learners, while they are still in class, will know how to replace or install an engine of a BMW and other related parts of BMW.”
With regard to the province’s top achievers, apart from receiving certificates and trophies, they also walked away with different prizes such as cash vouchers and laptops. All these learners will receive bursaries from the Gauteng Provincial Government to further their studies. MEC Lesufi says the 11 000 who failed have not been forgotten.
“All of you, you’ll automatically be placed in what we call a programme for young people Tshepo One-million. Tshepo one-million is a programme that gives our young people a second chance. We give you all the necessary assistance that you need for you to succeed in life. Therefore, suicide is not an option. There’s no succesful person that has not gone through failure in life. Learn from the mistakes because failure is the best educator.”
Lesufi is expected to brief the media on Sunday on the department’s readiness for the new school year. Click below for more on the story: