Service Delivery Protest At The Forefront of Matric Results Decline
The MEC of Education in the Northern Cape province – Martha Bartlett today unpacked the 2018 Matric results in Kimberley. A total of 12 198 full time candidates registered for their National Senior Certificate examinations in the province.
The department was proud to announce that the class of 2018 examination results were conducted without any fault or irregularities. “We used 143 examination centres, and a whopping 173 873 scripts had to be marked and moderated. Our results have been certified by Umalusi, free of irregularities and having been conducted with integrity,” Bartlett said during her address.
The province saw a decline in this years results – results have decreased from 75.6 percent to 73.3 percent. The MEC has since attributed extraneous factors. “During the 2018 school academic year, the education system throughout the Northern Cape was confronted by external challenges which impacted negatively on valuable learning and teaching time.”
Protests specifically in the Frances Baard District were at the forefront of the decline. “In the midst of service delivery protests especially in the Frances Baard District, parents opted to keep their children at home, as we could not guarantee their safety. It resulted in a high absenteeism rate of learners and educators on an ad hoc basis during the 3rd and 4th quarters.”
Bartlett further urged the public to practice caution this year and put the learners education first. “We appeal to all school communities to exercise caution when embarking on public protest as it might jeopardize the right to education or negatively impact on the academic performance of a child.” Although there was a decline in results, the department also recognized the hard work of the top three female achievers in the province.
“It is really nice to be recognized for our hardwork. I want to study medicine at the University of Pretoria.” said Alicia Brits from Diamantveld High School. Her fellow school mate Jenika Pienaar shared her sentiments adding that it was amazing to see the fruits of her hard work. “You have to motivate yourself and see yourself at the finish line. You need to look at the endless possibilities that hard work has to offer. Think about how amazing it will feel to see your good results.”
The MEC furthermore encouraged those who may have failed the year to not lose hope. She advised unsuccessful candidates to utilize the supplementary opportunities. “Failure is not a permanent feature, but a temporary inconvenience that serves as a source of experience. All learners should immediately register and start preparing for the mid-year exams without delay.” MEC Bartlett concluded that the education of the Northern Cape’s children was a team effort between the department, parents and moreover the learner. “Creating an enabling and conducive environment where quality learning and teaching can take place, not only rests on the shoulders of Government, but calls for a collective approach and action. We therefore call upon all communities and stakeholders to play their part in ensuring that education becomes a societal matter. Education is not about a classroom and a book. Collectively, this is our responsibility.”