# #PoeticLicence: The reading revolution is at a standstill

By Rabbie Serumula Feb 28, 2021

I will not take too much of your time explaining why the DA’s “real matric pass rate is 44.1%” statement is nonsense.

Yes, the reading revolution is at a standstill.

But the paper doesn't blush, this is no time for DA to be making a mountain of an anthill.

According to their calculations, the real matric pass rate is not 76.2% as stated by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga.

The DA calculated their lower percentage by comparing the number of learners that enrolled in 2018, which was 997 872, to the number of learners who wrote their matric exams in 2020, which was 578 468, and the 440 702 learners who passed.

How is this not politicking and bad maths?

“The 2020 matric group started with 1 072 993 learners enrolled in 2009 as Grade 1s, which calculates to a real pass rate of 41%”.

No! Do not preach to us about who was there in 2009, but did not write 2020 matric exams. There are times when logic overthrows BODMAS. This is one of them.

Let me simplify it with an anecdote:

If you are a restaurant owner, it is futile to count the number of patrons who walked in as the exact number of plates of food you sold that day.

You may politic and say you serve 100 patrons a day, for example. But you have not sold 100 plates.

The unaccounted-for learners who started Grade 1 in 2009 but did not write matric exams in 2020 are the walk-ins into your restaurant who looked at the menu, perhaps got a drink and left. Yes they were there, but they cannot possibly be included in the number of total plates sold.

Therefore, learners who did not sit for their 2020 matric exams cannot possibly be included in the calculation for a true reflection of the pass rate.

The learners who never made it into the exam rooms, yet made it out of school alive, must be on a different list.

A list of youth who dropped out and are destined for redundant roles in the fifth industrial revolution (5IR).

They are in a dark hole with hands outstretched. They live too far from schools, they are breadwinners in child-headed households.

In these households, winning does not mean acquiring the bread. But rather the duty to do so.

The knots in their rumbling stomach must grind much harder when the sun sets without a crumb on the table.

If R10 buys a loaf of bread, what is a pair of school shoes to a sandwich?

We feed our bodies, not the soles of our feet.

You can never redirect food for thought into your tummy.

It is this generation of outcasts who will ravage the deserts for water when Artificial Intelligence, as a by-product of 5IR, has run them out of the connected society, out of redundant jobs like cashiers, street vendors, assembly and factory workers, to name but a few.

What chance do these ravagers stand if the Future of Jobs Survey 2018 by the World Economic Forum says even data entry clerks, lawyers, accountants and auditors will be redundant?

These ravagers are in a dark hole with hands outstretched. I cannot tell you how we must pull them out. But I can tell you it is not by conspiracy theories based on politicking and bad maths.

The Saturday Star