06 January 2012
The South African Students Congress (SASCO) welcomes the release of the 2011 Matric results, particularly the improvement of the pass rate by 2.4 percent to 70.2 percent. This owes to the countless efforts of the learners, teachers, families and the communities. Great things are indeed unfolding before our eyes, under the leadership of the ANC government even though there is still a long way to go.
On Learners eligible for University entry and the FET Option
SASCO is not happy at the fact that the number of students that are eligible to enter Universities has not significantly improved. Indeed there is a tiny improvement, but as an organisation we had hoped for more as this would be the primary indicator of whether our education system is maturing or not.
As we welcome the improvement, it is sad that out of the 348.117 students that passed, only 84593 of them would be able to enter Universities. This presents a very serious challenge, considering the fact that institutions of higher learning perpetually inflate access points, in the watch of the Department of Higher Education and Training. We call on Universities to accept and register all those students who did not meet their requirements in bridging programmes.
We call on the Department of Higher Education and Training to ensure that there is speedy improvement of the Further Education and Training Sector so that it can be a first option for the learners, particularly those who do not qualify in terms of the reactionary access points of institutions of Higher Learning. SASCO is against the turning away of students to the FET sector whereas its current condition is well known.
To those who did not succeed this time
The learners that did not succeed should not despair; this is just a momentary set-back which can be corrected through their efforts this year. We propose that they re-write their examinations and the Department of Basic Education must provide all the necessary support. Families and communities must also provide emotional support to these learners.
On the IEB
We reject with utter disdain the parallelism and the inherent undermine exercised by the so-called Independent Examinations Board (IEB) against the entire system of education as it unilaterally decides to release results of private institutions before the actual results are released. We view its actions as part of a general resistance to transformation by some conservative elements in society. We hope that this will be a wake-up call for the government to change the nature of operation of these institutions and radically introduce Free Compulsory Education where there will be equal opportunities for everyone regardless of background.
On the opportunism of the DA
We note the baseless and extremely opportunistic comments of the Democratic Alliance (DA), which seeks to accord the improvement in Western Cape entirely to itself. We should not be misled by this menace of our democratic gains whereas it knows that South Africa is a unitary state.
What the DA deliberately fails to acknowledge is that the current results are a reflection of structural set-up of our economy as poverty and inequality in race and class are visible in them. The rural-urban divide is also highly observable in the pass rates as most urban areas come above rural areas and the results of the provinces are indicative of this. SASCO notes the disparities between metropolitan areas and rural ones, which is clearly demonstrated by the results. Beyond this, to us these results are a clear reflection of the excessive damage done by Colonialism of a Special Type in our country.
For more information contact:
Ngoako Selamolela - President, 071 875 2224, firstname.lastname@example.org
Themba Masondo - Secretary General, 079 199 3421, email@example.com