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Nelspruit - Independent schools in Mpumalanga face closure if they fail to produce a matric pass rate of at least 50 percent for three years in a row, the province's education MEC has said.
“If we find that they have performed below 50 percent for three consecutive years, we will have no option but to close them down,” a Sapa correspondent on Sunday quoted education MEC Reginah Mhaule saying.
There were 110 independent schools in Mpumalanga, five of which produced a matric pass rate of less than 50 percent last year.
Mhaule said 89 government schools obtained a matric pass rate below 50 percent last year.
However, she was optimistic that intervention programmes would make a difference to this year's matric results. These programmes include a schooling transformation and reform strategy, which offers supplementary after-school classes in mathematics and science.
A total of 58 517 part-time and full-time matrics have registered for this year's matric exams in the province, which begin later in October. This was around 3 000 more pupils than last year.
The province's matric results have improved since 2009, when it obtained a 47.9 percent pass rate.
In 2010, 56.8 percent was obtained, 64.8 percent in 2011, and 70 percent in 2012.
Of the 47 889 matrics who wrote exams in 2012, 33 504 passed. Of these, 9 495 qualified for bachelor programmes, 14 277 for diplomas, 9 633 for higher education certificates and 99 achieved the National Senior Certificate.