File picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)
Durban - Teacher unions are confident that the matric results to be released this week will be much better than those of last year.

Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga is expected to announce the national matric results on Wednesday, while the provincial education MECs are scheduled to make their announcements on Thursday.

Last year, KwaZulu-Natal matriculants achieved a 76.2% pass rate, and unions say despite the many challenges the education system faced in 2019, teachers did their best to prepare matriculants for their exams.

Nomarashiya Caluza, the provincial secretary of the SA Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu), said they were hoping for the best.

“Teachers did an excellent job in preparing matriculants for their final exams. They did what was expected of them and beyond. We made sure that there were no strikes and protests that would disrupt the learning process, so we are hopeful that everything went well,” Caluza said.

She said the education department should focus on the development of teachers to sustain the trend of increasing matric pass rates.

Allen Thompson, the deputy president of the National Teachers’ Union (Natu), said it had high expectations for this year’s matric results.

“We should be able to maintain or improve from what we obtained in the last year. We are hopeful that the province is going to do well,” Thompson said, pointing out that there were many challenges.

“Too little is being done to deal with issues faced by the education system. Teachers are confronted with overcrowded classes which can be stressful. Schools lack resources, while security issues saw a decrease in extra classes because teachers and pupils felt unsafe after many crimes took place in schools.”

Basil Manuel, executive director of the National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa (Naptosa), said it also expected an improvement in this year’s results.

“We certainly think we are going to improve this year because we had a stable period.

“As teachers, we have a dual purpose which is to improve results and the quality, so I think it is also important that we push quality over quantity,” Manuel said.

He said it was important for the those who failed matric to know that they will be granted a second chance.

At least 700000 pupils sat for the matric exams administered by the Department of Basic Education, while more than 100000 of those who wrote were part-time pupils.

The Independent Examinations Board registered a total of 12179 pupils and the South African Comprehensive Assessment Institute registered 2643 learners for the matric exams which included 2073 full-time pupils and 570 rewrites.

Sunday Tribune