Elswood High School's 2020 matriculant Jayden Williams with her mother Liezl. Jayden could not contain her emotions when she saw she passed her matric. Picture: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA).
Elswood High School's 2020 matriculant Jayden Williams with her mother Liezl. Jayden could not contain her emotions when she saw she passed her matric. Picture: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA).

Emotions run high as Cape matrics get their results

By Sisonke Mlamla Time of article published Feb 24, 2021

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Cape Town - There were tears, smiles and ulalations as more than 51000 matric candidates in the Western Cape received their results after a difficult and interrupted school year.

Anxious high school principals and teachers eagerly waited since early morning to see how their districts and schools had fared.

According to the results breakdown issued by the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) on Tuesday, the Metro North education district achieved the highest pass rate in the province – 85.1% – followed by the Metro Central district, which achieved 82.8%, West Coast at 82.2%, Overberg at 80.4%, Eden and Central Karoo at 79.1%, Cape Winelands at 78.5%, Metro South at 78.3%, and Metro East at 73.2%.

Education MEC Debbie Schäfer, who was at Elswood Senior Secondary School in Elsies River, said she was pleased with the results.

Schäfer said Elswood’s class of 2020 achieved a pass rate of 83.8% – "a whopping 28.4% point increase from last year, not only is this an incredible achievement during a pandemic, but their number of candidates writing and passing the exam also increased."

She said other schools that have improved their results significantly, with a similar or higher number of candidates writing, included: Zwartberg High School – increased from 57.4% to 90%, Intshukumo Secondary – increased from 41.5% to 66.7%, Forest Heights High School – increased from 55.5% to 72.3%, Lotus Sekondêr – increased from 59.3% to 76.9%, Sizimisele Secondary – increased from 48.5% to 64.6%.

ANC provincial spokesperson on education, Khalid Sayed, said the district pass rate was a clear indication of the relatively poor performance of the Western Cape in the 2020 matric exams.

"Firstly there is only one district in the top 10 best performing districts nationally, with Metro North which came in at eight," said Sayed.

He said secondly, the number of districts that achieved a pass rate below 80% increased from one in 2019 to four in 2020.

"All education districts recorded a decline, except for Metro Central which registered a 0.5% increase from 83.4% in 2019 to 83.9%. The Metro East remains the worst performing district, mainly due to persistent structural challenges and rampant inequalities in the education system in the Western Cape."

He said it recorded the highest decline from 78.3% in 2019 to 73.6% in 2020. That highlighted the stark inequalities in the education system of the province.

UWC Education faculty’s deputy dean of research, Rouaan Maarman, said the department should have a proper focus on the whole schooling system, not only the grade 11 and 12s.

"They must prioritise the teaching to learn paradigm and promote the best teaching and learning practices around the globe," said Maarman.

Cape Argus

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