WCED Awards Top Achieving and Most Improved Schools for Mathematics and Language
19 February 2013
Head of the WCED, Penny Vinjevold,
Officials of the WCED,
Members of the SGB,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is with great pleasure that I am here tonight to celebrate the achievements of schools that have produced excellent results and improvements in our Grade 3, 6 and 9 language and mathematics systemic tests in 2012.
These tests are important to the Western Cape as they inform our language and mathematics interventions, and improve the management of education and learner performance.
They also give us the opportunity to assess where our learners’ abilities lie and if we are improving the quality of education in the province.
While the 2012 tests have resulted in some pleasing improvements, we still face some tough challenges. There is still considerable work that needs to be done to ensure that these improvements continue to happen as we move towards acceptable outcomes for all our learners in the Province.
So tonight, let us celebrate the schools that have excelled in the tests and schools who improved their results.
However, as a Government, we go out of our way to honour and acknowledge individual achievements, schools and institutions that are examples of best practice in the Western Cape.
The entertainment and movie industry is not the only sector that is currently experiencing “award season.” We have our own one right here in the Western Cape.
Within a week, I am attending not one, but three award ceremonies –The FET awards last tonight, the Literacy and Numeracy awards tonight and then finally our Adult Basic Education awards early next week. Just recently, we held the NSC awards.
None of these award ceremonies can be classified as the “Grammys” of education, as each sector and phase is as equally important to the Western Cape Government as the next.
However, personally, I am always most eager to find out the outcomes of our language and mathematics results as improvements in these areas affect the outcomes of learners in all other phases and in real life. They are truly the building blocks of education progress.
This year’s testing was particularly valuable to us as the Department is now in a position to compare and contrast the 2012 results with those of the previous year. This has allowed the WCED to determine if its strategies in literacy and numeracy are yielding positive results.
Tonight, each of the schools represented here has either excelled or improved.
Special mention must be made to some of the schools present here tonight, such as Rustenberg Girls Junior for achieving a 100% pass rate in both Grade 3 and Grade 6 language and 81.1% in both language and mathematics in Grade 3 and Grade 6 in terms of their average mean scores. Their sister school, Rustenberg High School did equally well in Grade 9, with a 100% pass rate for language and a 98.7% for mathematics and an average mean score for both mathematics and language of 83.3%.
Congratulations to Hoër Meisieskool Paarl who achieved 100% pass rate in both mathematics and language in Grade 3 and a 95.1% mean average for Grade 3 mathematics.
Over 250 000 learners took part in the testing last October. Of these, 5 927 were learners from 100 independent schools. Independent schools were invited to participate in the Grade 6 and 9 testing in 2010, and Grade 3 testing in 2011.
We warmly welcome two of our independent schools here tonight – Springfield Convent of the Holy Rosary and Herschel Girls School. Springfield achieved a remarkable 100% pass rate for both language and mathematics in Grade 3 and 6. Herschel achieved 100% for language and 96.4% for mathematics in Grade 9, with a combined mean average of 85.4%. Well done!
I would like to congratulate all our schools in the category of excellence for their performance in these tests. If we consider the extensive expertise and experience in system level evaluation and assessment the CEA offers and that these tests instruments are in line with international systemic evaluations, results such as the one’s achieved by schools in this category are most noteworthy.
Also noteworthy are the many improvements in performance.
Tonight, I am proud to honour some of our schools that have improved significantly within one year!
One of these schools is Nkazimlo PS in Khayelitsha. This morning I had the privilege to visit the school and meet their wonderful principal Mrs Futwa. The school produced improved results in both language and mathematics in Grade 3. Their language results increased from 2.6% in 2011 to 62.4% in 2012 - a 59.8% increase. In mathematics, the school improved its results by 29.5%. In 2011 it achieved 51.7% and in 2012, 81.2%.
This is a remarkable improvement in just one year.
I asked Mrs. Futwa what exactly was her secret to success. Her answer was clear and concise and what I can best describe as a ‘handbook to best practice” in language and mathematics.
She explained, amongst others, their interventions, their extra programmes, increased testing, classroom monitoring and evaluation and measures to decrease absenteeism and latecoming.
But first and foremost, she said her school, learners, parents and educators needed a change in attitude. They were all encouraged to work positively together to make the changes necessary to improve their results.
It is evident that Mrs Futwa, who became principal of the school in the beginning of 2012, clearly brought with her a positive and willing attitude which has guided others in her school to participate as a team and ultimately to achieve improved results.
I am extremely proud of the achievements of Nkazimlo PS and all the other schools that saw improvements in their results last year who are here to celebrate with us tonight.
If we continue to have the right positive attitude, work together as teams, to plan suitably and implement those plans properly, we can improve language and mathematics results in this province.
I believe that we can make education BETTER TOGETHER if we all fulfill the roles that we are supposed to play.
I would like to end off by thanking all our principals and SGB members present. We appreciate and value your leadership and management of: our schools.
Our educators and curriculum advisors in your schools have also done us very proud and we congratulate them for their learner’s achievements.
Congratulations and thank-you to you all.
With that said, let us continue with tonight’s proceedings!
Unlike the Grammy’s, Beyonce or Justin Bieber will not be popping up on the screen or the stage next.
Instead, we have a more important feature to show you - we have some of our own celebrity principals that will share their stories of success.