Johannesburg - Gauteng matriculants should be able to compete with their counterparts around the world following the completion of the National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations, education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said on Wednesday.
“We are capable of taking matrics to the next level and allowing them the chance to study anywhere in the world,” Lesufi told reporters in Johannesburg.
He was accompanied by Gauteng education department head Boy Ngobeni and provincial deputy director general Edward Mosuwe.
A total of 101 265 full-time and 42,382 part-time pupils across the province would start the matric exams on October 27.
“This is a special day for us as it marks the birthday of former (ANC) president Oliver Tambo,” said Lesufi.
He said that although several studies had placed South Africa in the bottom rankings in terms of education, this year's matric results should allow pupils to compete with their counterparts in the BRICS countries Ä Brazil, Russia, India, and China.
“We are determined to continuously improve the quality of education in Gauteng and build an education system that can compete internationally.”
Lesufi said the department wanted Gauteng matriculants to produce the best results in the country, as they were beaten by Free State matriculants last year.
He called on parents and communities to help the department meet this challenge by eliminating and reducing unnecessary events and disturbances.
“We request parents and the community to slow down street bashes and to monitor matriculants,” said Lesufi.
“They must be in a period of quarantine until the end of the exams.”
The provincial department had also taken this challenge seriously and implemented a performance agreement.
“All our districts must perform. If any one drops even by one percent the district director must resign,” said Lesufi.
They had also taken measures throughout the year to ensure that every school in the province had the basics such as water, electricity and adequate sanitation. It was also essential that each classroom had a teacher.
“No classroom is without a teacher, we have even arranged for back-up teachers,” he said.
“We have balanced the basics and elevated our investments.”
As part of the investments, the department had set aside R140 million for educational support programmes, such as Saturday schools, holiday schools, and matric revision camps.
Problem schools in the province had also been identified.
“We are monitoring areas where there are service delivery protest,” said Lesufi.
“We have also done everything possible to ensure that our learners have been given the best possible chance to do well in these exams.”