District matric pass rate ‘shameful’

uThungulu District Education Director David Chonco
uThungulu District Education Director David Chonco

UTHUNGULU District Education Director David Chonco says the 54.6% matric pass rate achieved in the district is nothing but shameful.

Speaking to the Zululand Observer, Chonco highlighted a number of problems he said might be the cause.

Among others, he cited the high number of quality teachers leaving the profession simply to cash in on their pensions.

‘According to the education policy any teacher who resigns should wait for a year before becoming eligible to re-joining the profession,’ he said.

Chonco said the practice of moving teachers from one school to another ‘because they are deemed to be a surplus at one school,’ was counter-productive.

Service delivery protests, violence such as stabbings, shooting incidents and bullying in many schools had a significant negative impact last year.

Chonco stressed the department was committed to upgrade teachers, especially in subjects such as maths and physical sciences.

‘We are going to hold workshops for the principals to equip them with more skills to manage their schools efficiently,’ Chonco said.

He added the department is going to revisit the issue of the progressed learners, staff commitment, quality of teachers and programmes to improve pupil performance.

‘Parents, school governing bodies, iZinduna and other stakeholders have to be part of the exercises to find solutions to the challenges facing education.’

Investigation

At a media briefing held by the ANC Musa Dladla Region in Empangeni last Monday, the 9.43% pass rate drop was noted with concern.

‘As the ANC, we will work with the district education office to help find means of correcting this situation,’ said Chairperson Nonhle Mkhulisi.

‘We want the contributing factors to this decline investigated as a matter of urgency.

‘We also join the voices urging the department to prioritise the development of African indigenous languages into languages of teaching and learning.

According to Mkhulisi, contributing factors to the decline are, among others, the lack of leadership quality in schools, the hiring of teachers, the late appointment of subject advisors, community protests and issues of discipline.

Mkhulisi said an education summit to look at the challenges the district faces will soon be held.

  AUTHOR
Steven Makhanya
JOURNALIST

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