Celebrating Exceptional Achievement in the Western Cape
Statement by Debbie Schäfer, Western Cape Minister of Education
The long wait for the 2014 National Senior Certificate (NSC) examination results is now over, with thousands of NSC candidates having received their National Senior Certificate results at 12:00 today.
I am sure that there will be many pleased candidates and parents, as well as teachers and principals whose candidates and schools have performed well this year.
I would like to congratulate all these candidates and schools for their results. We are all proud of what they have achieved.
I have had a brief opportunity to analyse the results and have seen some wonderful examples of success in our districts and schools this year.
I am very proud that the Western Cape is the only province where all education districts have achieved a pass rate of over 80%.
I would like to congratulate the West Coast District for achieving the highest pass rate in the province with 88.4% this year and the fourth highest pass rate in the country.
They were closely followed by the Overberg District. The Overberg District achieved the fifth highest pass rate in the country. Congratulations! I am aware a number of additional and innovative support measures that were provided to our learners throughout the 2014 school year and am therefore delighted that their efforts have paid off.
A special mention, however, must be made to the Metropole East District.
Historically, this district has always achieved the lowest percentage of all the eight districts. However, this year, it is placed in fourth place, together with Metro South at 81.2%, increasing by 15.1 percentage points since 2009!
It is significant to add that almost half of the schools in Metro East are situated in Khayelitsha – a historically disadvantaged area.
The WCED has, over the past few years, invested heavily in areas such as Khayelitsha and we are therefore encouraged by any improvements in these schools.
This year, we again saw an increase in the percentage pass rate in Khayelitsha schools, with Khayelitsha schools achieving an average pass rate of 76.1% in the 2014 NSC. This is in stark contrast to the 53.6% that was achieved in 2009 when the DA first came into government in this province!
The number of underperforming schools in Khayelitsha has also decreased by 75% this year. In 2013, four schools achieved under 60%. All four of these schools have this year achieved over 60%. However, one school has unfortunately fallen into the underperforming category – a school which achieved just 0.2% points short of 60% with 58.8%.
In 2009, 15 schools in Khayelitsha were categorised as underperforming. Today, only one school remains. This is a remarkable achievement for the schools in Khayelitsha, as well as the District.
While I believe that we can even further improve education in this area, we are proud of the progress they have made in a short period of time.
Another special mention must be made to Siphamandla Secondary for the highest percentage pass rate in Khayelitsha of 92.4%, up from 76.2% in 2013. Manzomthombo High School were close behind with 91.4%, up from 78.9% with a bachelor pass rate of nearly 50%. Harry Gwala Secondary also increased significantly from 55.2% to 73.8%.
There were schools in other districts that have also stood out after an initial analysis. Most notably Walmer Secondary School achieved a 50.9% pass rate in 2013 (and classified as an underperforming school) and an 88.2% pass rate in the 2014 NSC examination. This is an increase of 37.3 percentage points. I would like to congratulate the School Principal, Mr Jansen and his teaching staff. This is an outstanding achievement.
Harlem Secondary in the Eden Karoo District also increased significantly by 29.7 percentage points from 62.5% in 2013 to 92.2% in 2014.
Today, I visited Scottsdene Secondary, which achieved a 90% pass rate this year. The reason I chose this school was specifically for what they have achieved in the last few years, and not just in 2014.
This school was classified as an underperforming school in 2011, with a pass rate of only 46.2%. Through various interventions, their pass rate then increased year on year. In 2012, they achieved 52.9%, in 2013, 68.1% and then 90% in 2014 – doubling their percentage pass rate in four years!
Many schools that have been in the underperforming category have fallen victim to the “yo-yo” effect of performing well one year, and then returning to this category a year or two later. Scottsdene Secondary has proved otherwise and I would like to congratulate them for building on their success year on year. The pressure is now on for 2015!