2020 NSC: Appreciation and thanks to the teachers that served our Class of 2020
I would like to congratulate all our learners, principals, teachers and parents who successfully passed their NSC or contributed towards this achievement.
We were always unsure as to what the impact would be on our matriculants and their performance in the National Senior Certificate and from an education perspective the results are, in many ways, something to celebrate. While there was a lot of attention drawn to the disruptive elements of Covid-19 on our system, the results reflect that behind the scenes, our teachers were working hard to ensure that our learners achieved their best results.
We are therefore pleased that the impact of Covid-19 on our Class of 2020 wasn’t more severe. The Western Cape pass rate declined by 2.4%, which is the lowest decline in the country. Our candidates also achieved the highest Bachelor Pass rate ever.
This indicates that the standard of teaching in many of schools did not drop. In fact, it reveals that the quality of teaching improved. In fact, 213 schools improved their results from 2019!
I want to thank our principals and teachers for that achievement. I am most appreciative that during times of uncertainty, stress and fear, they rose to the challenge before them, inspiring, encouraging and supporting our matriculants right to the end.
We today acknowledge the teachers who “reinvented” their teaching styles during hard lockdown to ensure that learners had access to resources and lessons, online and paper-based.
We acknowledge the teachers who worked hours on end to prepare online lessons and additional lesson sheets that could be collected by learners without access to technology.
We acknowledge the principals and teachers who returned to schools with a clear purpose – to ensure quality continuous teaching – even in times of uncertainty and fear.
We acknowledge their resilience, fortitude and dedication.
I salute you all.
The results also reveal just how important the role of teachers is in encouraging, motivating and inspiring our children.
The same applies to our parents, who also played a crucial part in supporting their children throughout the year and encouraging them to #CommitToFinish.
The retention rate in this Province continues to improve each year and we are delighted that our learners are opting to stay in school and complete their matric rather than to drop out before their NSC examinations. International research indicates that children are more likely to drop out of school when there are extended school closures.
However, a combined effort between principals, teachers and parents, as well as, the tenacity and resilience of learners, overcame those odds.
In fact, our learners overcame many obstacles last year and we are extremely proud of them.
I would also like to extend my thanks and appreciation to our Head Office and our eight education districts and their officials who worked tirelessly to ensure that our schools remained open, when they could, and supported when they were not. The role our Curriculum Directorate and subject advisors also played, in Head Office and the Districts, was particularly admirable. The innovation and drive to ensure that our teachers were supported, both in the curriculum and how to utilise technology effectively, was creative and valuable.
I am pleased that the average performance of schools in 4 of our districts is over 80%, and 5 of the 8 districts improved on their bachelor performance. Congratulations to the Metro North District for achieving the 8th highest pass rate across the country,85.1%, and for coming first in the Western Cape.
Today we celebrate as a Province with all our learners receiving their results and achieving their NSC.
For those that are disappointed, please don’t give up. It was a really tough year and with hard work and commitment you can certainly improve.
I sincerely hope that our teachers are there celebrating with them – as they deserve thanks and admiration for their dedication this year!