Save Our Schools co-ordinator Vanessa le Roux says it is unsurprising that less than 50% of Beauvallon High School’s Matric candidates were successful in the National Examinations given the atmosphere surrounding them for most of 2014.
Beauvallon was the only school out of 17 earmarked for closure by the Western Cape Department of Education to remain open. In December last year Supreme Court of Appeal Judge Eric Leach said the MEC Donald Grant had the power under the Schools Act to close schools.
But despite the atmosphere surrounding the school, Le Roux says only 30 Matriculants participated in the final examinations.
“We cannot look past the fact that all of this […] must have had an impact on the children. We can only hope that this year it will go better, currently out of thirty students only 14 passed. We know the community, and it’s quite a large one. Our question is therefore, where are the rest of the Matrics?”
She says the unsuccessful pass rate of the school does not vindicate the Education Department’s argument on Beauvallon’s inefficiency in delivering well taught students.
“If a school underperforms then you should give it the necessary resources and assistance, instead of attempting to close it. We cannot afford that any schools get closed, not when you’re sitting with a situation, at least in Cape Town, where you might have up to 55 learners in a single class,” Le Roux said.
She believes with hard work the school could be performing smoothly by the end of 2015 with the right support from government and the community.
“if a child has to walk to school in the morning dodging gun fire, there is no way he or she will be able to focus. The school must also be renovated, if a school looks the way Beauvallon does, how can we expect a child to have any respect for what takes place there,” she said. VOC (Andriques Che Petersen)