Good and bad in matric results

NDLAMBE had a mixed bag of matric results last year, with some stellar individual performances and improvements in the pass rate in some schools, while other results were depressing.

Talk of the Town congratulates all the matrics who passed, with a special acknowledgment of pupils who excelled, like Anele Faltein of Velile High School in Bathurst, who achieved two distinctions despite grinding poverty and limited resources at his school.

Faltein is one of the pupils who rose above his circumstances and made the most of his high school education in his drive to succeed. He has plans to study chemical engineering at the University of Cape Town, but even with a R50 000 bursary from the education department, he is still short of the funds required.

It is tragic when a lack of finances hinders bright prospects and Faltein’s principal Wendy Mfazwe is appealing to the community to help her star pupil achieve his goals.

We were also happy to learn of a significant improvement in the overall pass rate at Kuyasa Combined School in Nemato, up 10% to 82%. Principal Xolani Mayana and his staff deserve to be commended.

Port Alfred High School has done consistently well over the years, and had a 97% pass rate last year. A number of its pupils earned distinctions, and most will probably go on to some form of tertiary education.

Matrics from Port Alfred were also among those who excelled at private schools in Grahamstown, like St Andrew’s College, the Diocesan School for Girls and Kingswood College, and we also recognise them for making the most of their opportunities.

Nomzamo Secondary School in Nemato had a little dip in its results compared to last year, but with a 67% pass rate was still above the provincial education department’s target.

Other schools did not fare as well. At Velile, for example, Faltein’s classmates only managed a 51% pass rate, which make his achievements all the more remarkable.

The situation is even worse at Ikamvalesizwe Combined School in Ekuphumleni, Kenton-on-Sea.

There was a staggering 40.5% drop in their matric pass rate, from 64.3% in 2011 to 23.8% last year.

A common denominator at both these schools is a lack of teachers, according to the principals. Another issue at Ikamvalesizwe was that a number of teachers were on suspension for unknown reasons.

We hope the education department will address the situation with the seriousness it deserves, as children’s future is at stake.

– Jon Houzet

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