Rustenburg - Political parties in South Africa criticised Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga on Thursday for the drop in the matric results.
"Forum 4 Service Delivery (F4SD) delivers a disgraced fail mark in Minister Motshekga 's release of 2017 National Senior Certificate results. There is no steady growth whatsoever given the inflated percentages due to progressed learners from grade 11 in 2016," said Mbahare Kekana, the civic movement's national leader.
"F4SD bitterly notes the drop of percentages attained by Northern Cape which fell by 4.1 percent from 2016, the North West attained 82.1 percent, a decline of 4.1 percent in 2016 and the Western Cape with 84.4 percent losing 3.3 percent from 2016. Surely this 75.1 percent, a 2.1 percent improvement from the 72.5 percent attained in 2016 is inflated to boost the ego of the minister."
He said nine schools did not have any learner passing matric.
"Though this is an insignificant improvement from 18 schools in 2016 this cannot be celebrated. It is one school too many. How after 23 years is this possible to have the entire school producing 0 percent pass?" he asked.
He said the continued change of the curriculum confuses learners.
"The government has failed for the past 23 years to provide quality decolonised education. F4SD has on numerous occasions called for government to ditch this Europe models of education and adopt the one used by neighbouring Zimbabwe," he said.
"We cannot be ignored further and herein reiterate our call to the president to fire Minister Motshekga and replace her with youthful Ronald Lamola and elevate Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi to High Education Ministry for him to address issue of free education . Mr Ronald Lamola and MEC Lesufi have proven themselves with their acumen hands-on approach and for having the interest of our country at heart."
He called for the merger of the basic education department and the Independent Examinations Board (IEB) or alternatively the nationalisation of IEB.
The Democratic Alliance said the quality of education in South Africa has hardly improved despite Motshekga, lauding the Matric 2017 achievement.
"While the pass rate of 75.1 percent may seem satisfactory, she has not sufficiently addressed the ‘real’ pass rate – how many Grade 10s from two years ago have passed matric – and the unacceptably high figure of children who have dropped out of school," said Nomsa Marchesi, DA deputy shadow minister of basic education.
"Last year, 41 percent of the learners who had enrolled in Grade 10 in 2015 did not enrol for matric. Nearly half of Grade 10 learners are dropping out of or getting stuck in the system – delaying their entry into post-school education and the job market. The Minister however does not see this as a crisis and has refused our requests for an investigation into this high dropout rate."
African News Agency/ANA