President Jacob Zuma has urged stakeholders to work together to decrease the number of school dropouts.
“Our own analysis shows that less than 50 percent of all the learners who joined our education system reach Matric after 12 years of learning.”
The President was speaking during a Basic Education Sector Lekgotla held in Pretoria recently.
He said factors that contribute to dropping out are mostly socio-economic in nature.
“Whether it is financial reasons, abuse of drugs or other social challenges, we need to tackle them together. We must keep our youth in school.
“I wish to emphasise that there must be consequences for principals and school management teams who recorded a zero percent pass rate. Everyone must strive for excellence, more so in education,” said the President.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, who spoke to media on the sidelines of the Lekgotla, said the national department is sharing ideas with provinces through reports to discover how best they can improve the sector’s performance and address remaining issues together.
Meanwhile the Minister said the department is addressing the issue of unviable schools. Most of these are found in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo, which produced the lowest pass rates in the 2016 National Senior Certificate examinations results.
Eastern Cape Education MEC Mandla Makupula said out of 5 537 schools in the province, about
2 000 were found unviable.
“The process of recruitment and appointment has been very slow in the Eastern Cape for some years. The department only started improving in 2014, otherwise we have been dealing with temporary educators,” said the MEC.