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WITH just over three months until they put pen to paper for their final exams thousands of Grade 12 pupils have spent time during the school holiday attending winter school.
This year 45 719 full-time candidates have registered for the national senior certificate.
Western Cape matrics achieved a pass rate of 82.9 percent last year, up 6.1 percentage points over the 2010 pass rate.
Education MEC Donald Grant visited Mfuleni Secondary in Kuilsrivier to check on their winter school programme.
“I am happy with the roll-out of the Grade 12 winter programme so far and am delighted that reports from the districts indicate high attendance rates at their programmes. This morning there was a 100 percent attendance at Mfuleni Secondary.”
He said this programme was just one of many interventions by the Western Cape Education Department to support and assist matrics.
Grant said that the programmes were held at 98 high schools in the province.
Each of these schools offered specialised tutoring in subjects such as maths, physical science, geography, life sciences, accounting and economics.
Pupils were taught by expert tutors who had a proven record of success at the schools at which they teach.
Grant said that this was to ensure that these learners received the best possible tuition from recognised experts in their fields.
Intensive intervention programmes, such as winter school, had proved successful last year, he said.
The number of underperforming high schools in the province was reduced from 78 in 2010 to 30 in 2011.
“This was a dramatic decline and we are cautiously optimistic that we will see further progress in 2012.”
The poorest schools in Quintile 1 improved their pass rate from 57 percent in 2010 to 70 percent last year.
“We have specifically tried to assist our underperforming schools in the province. Here, we have implemented an intensive high school intervention project to reduce the number of underperforming schools and subjects in the province.”
Grant said the programme focused on the 30 schools that achieved pass rates of less than 60 percent in last year’s matric exams.
He said that at the start of the 2012 school year, the department approached each of the underperforming schools and conducted an analysis of their exam results and implemented strategies for improvement.