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WCED confident of provincial pass rate increase

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The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) has remained defiant that the province will see an improvement in its matric pass rate, despite several less than optimistic forecasts. Exam monitoring body, Umalusi has strongly hinted that the national pass percentage will decline from that of previous year’s statistics.

Basic education minister, Angie Motshekga is expected to announce the pass rate for the National Senior Certificate’s class of 2015 on Tuesday evening.

But provincial MEC for education, Minister Debbie Schafer says the department are confident it will see progress in several indicators of improvement, including the number of candidates writing and passing, as well as the pass rate for maths and science.

“We are hoping very much to see some level of improvement in those areas this year.

We’ve been working extremely hard for a number of years on improving the education system as a whole and we’re sincerely hoping that hard work and efforts are going to bare some results,” she said.

One of the main motivating factors for the expected decline is that the 2015 academic year saw the country’s highest ever rate of “progress learners”; students pushed over from grade 11 to matric despite failing to meet the requirements for promotion to the next level.

While acknowledging that the Western Cape has been susceptible to this trend, Schafer says the WCED are keen to eradicate the issue from the provincial education system.

“It’s something that we need to stop. It is not helping the learners because they cannot be pushed through matric. You push them through until then and suddenly they can’t get through.

“Fortunately, in terms of the percentage of our total progressed learners writing the matric exams this last year, we weren’t as high as many of the other provinces. I think we had the second lowest percentage of progressed learners writing,” she highlighted.

Results are expected to be released to learners on Wednesday. Students in eight of the nine provinces will be issued their results at 8am, while Western Cape results will be issued at 12pm the same day. The delay affords principals the opportunity to look through the results and gauge whether there are any discrepancies.

All results can be accessed via the Basic Education Department’s website, VOC (Mubeen Banderker)

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