7 January 2016
The 19th Nation executive committee of the South African Students' congress (SASCO) notes and welcomes the release of the 2015 Matric results. We do so with caution and worry with some persistent trends. Whereas we are satisfied with the overall pass rate of 70.7 %, we are however concerned with the decline of 5% from the 2014 results. We are also worried about the consistent low performance of 3 of our poor and "rural" provinces; the Eastern Cape, Kwazulu Natal and Limpopo.
The group which sat for their matric examination entered the system in 2004. 2015 saw the highest number of pupils to be registered to write their matric examination. 54% of these came from the 3 provinces mentioned above.
Even though quantitatively, candidates have increased, not much progress has been made qualitatively in terms of those who passed with marks that will enable them to access bachelor's degree qualifications. The quantitative increase suggests that access to basic education has been on the increase. The pass rate of the IEB candidates sits at 98.30%; of these, 85.45% received a bachelor's pass.
The above exposition of facts suggests to us that in South Africa we continue to have an unequal 2 stream basic education system reflective of the racial, class and gender inequalities confronting our country. These manifest themselves through the performance patterns we have been persistently observing. Most of the students who attend IEB institutions are the historically advantaged white and those that attend our traditional public schools are the disadvantaged black working class majority. 87.14% of our public schools are no fee schools; this reflects the social status of the learners which attend to these.
The conditions of their schools, inadequate support services and the lack of human teacher capital places them at a disadvantaged position compared to their counter parts. Their only crime is to be black and poor not by their own creation but as a result of the politico- economic system of apartheid capitalism and its legacy in the South African case.
We condemn the various acts of violence by teachers towards learners and various cases of racism in our schools as reported in 2015. We also condemn the continued practice of releasing IEB results before all the results of the majority of learners. This is done deliberately so as to secure access of the privileged into the higher education system first; such that the remaining majority can fight for the remainder of spaces with much space from professional qualifications already awarded to the learners from the privileged classes and racial groups. In most instances courses are said to be full or admission point scores raised, residence spaces are reserved and other "privileges" become less accessible, the black majority is usually left with no option but to either go back or be stuck in long queues begging for access, they gallivant in unfamiliar city streets like true "monkeys" desperate for an education. This leads to their vulnerability to crime and exploitation financially and sexually for women.
We call upon the government to accelerate the goal of a creation of a single coordinated education system. We call on government to heighten their commitment towards the eradication of poverty and unemployment. Infrastructure development in our public schools ought to be accelerated. Teacher redeployments are amongst the options at government's disposal. These and other interventions will make our schools attractive and improve the learning experience of the poor. We must commit ourselves to one democratic education system.
SASCO takes this opportunity to congratulate all those who passed their matric. We do so fully conscience of the sacrifices you made and the dedication you had. In the same vein we wish to extend a word of encouragement to those who either did not score the marks they desired or did not manage to pass. We want to say to that not all is lost, there is always another opportunity for those with determination. Those that did not make it are encouraged to make use of the centers and second opportunity platforms that are in place. We would also wish to thank all the selfless educators that have put their time and effort in ensuring that our future is secured. Some of these educators have gone beyond the boundaries of official work time in assisting our learners. We salute you! We note the strides and interventions made by the ANC government. We welcome these.
SASCO, the true vanguard of all students regardless of race, class, gender and origin; wishes to extend a warm, hearty welcome to all those that will be entering the higher education landscape. We want to reassure all of you that our volunteers and soldiers are in all institutions of higher learning in South Africa willing to suffer serve and sacrifice in order to open the gates of access. SASCO will assist each and every student with challenges ranging from access, registration, fees, accommodation and all other necessary tools for success.
We have declared 2015 as the year in which the people's camp shall rise. The people of South Africa are invited to join hands with us in our quest for the immediate introduction of free quality higher education. The year of action is now; we invite government, the private sector and everyone to join hands with us. The time is now! We will be boycotting all registration fees and admission fees. We will respond to any kind of frustration confronting us the best way we know how.
Victory is certain!
Free education or nothing!
For more info:
President - 071 875 2224
Secretary General - 071 875 2209