The Kagiso Trust, a development agency, has specific interventions that can help teaching and learning in rural areas. PIctures: KHAYA NGWENYA
The Kagiso Trust, a development agency, has specific interventions that can help teaching and learning in rural areas. PIctures: KHAYA NGWENYA

Matric results and challenges in rural schools

By Zodidi Dano Time of article published Feb 26, 2021

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The Kagiso Trust, a development agency, has specific interventions that can help teaching and learning in rural areas.

Lack of connectivity, data or devices for online education was one of the biggest challenges faced by matrics of 2020 when schools were closed, resulting in the pupils not getting any lessons.

This is according to the Kagiso Trust, a self-funded development agency, which has taken particular pride in the performance of the Grade 12s in schools that are part of its Beyers Naude Schools Development Programme (BNSDP).

“Learners, mostly from the most challenged areas of South Africa, have overcome both their own circumstances and the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic to honour themselves, their schools, their families and their communities,” the agency said.

In 2007, the Trust partnered with the Free State Department of Education, beginning with 10 schools. It has now grown to incorporates over 160 schools and has seen one district record matric pass rates of over 90%.

The Free State the province that recorded the highest matric pass rate in South Africa, with 85.1%.

The Free State was still significantly above the national pass percentage of 76.2%, proof of the sustainability of the BNSDP model.

The Kagiso Trust said it was encouraged that 578,468 full-time candidates were able to sit for the National Senior Certificate (NSC) exams, the most since 2016.

Despite the drop in pass rate, more pupils attained the NSC and there was also an increase in the number of those who qualified for Bachelor studies from 2019, up by 24,762 to 210,820.

“Education in our country has its challenges, and the Covid-19 pandemic threatened to destroy the hopes and dreams of many matriculants.

“To be able to prevail despite the closure of schools and the challenges that came with being denied access to traditional and necessary schooling is a feat that shows the determination and resilience of the learners.

“We must also pay tribute to the work of educators, parents, communities and the Trust’s teams of experts on the ground around the country, particularly in Limpopo and the Free State.

“Their collaboration and dedication have been vital in getting the 2020 matrics throughout this year,” said chief executive, Mankodi Moitse.

After the BNSDP success in the Free State, the trust has aimed to implement similar interventions in rural and township schools in the Sekhukhune district of Limpopo.

The province’s 2020 pass rate dropped to 68.2% from 73.2% in 2019, but these are early days in the Limpopo programme.

The BNSDP has a unique model that enables it to build sustainable, long-term success.

It provides curriculum support, infrastructure development, psycho-social support and leadership.

It offers an inclusive, holistic approach that partners with education departments involve the community, provides funding and is biased to rural areas.

“Sustainability in education does not begin and end with matric,” said Moitse.

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