The Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, has essentially ignored chronically underperforming schools for close to a decade.
Every year, the Department of Basic Education includes a list of schools which have had a matric pass rate of 40% or less for the past five years. This year, 13 schools – all from Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal – appear on this list.
Upon investigating this list, we discovered that these schools have been underperforming for longer than five years – in the case of two Limpopo schools, for an entire decade. This means that during her entire tenure as Minister, Motshekga has ignored her obligation to hold provincial education MECs accountable for the performance of these failing schools.
The South African Schools Act states that provincial departments must report to the Minister within three months, on what steps they are going to take to help these schools improve their performance.
Clearly, the ANC can’t be bothered to fulfil this obligation, and the biggest losers are the pupils at these schools who are essentially being setup for failure.
Leriana Senior Secondary School and Mahlaba Secondary School, both in Limpopo, have had a pass rate of 40% or less for ten years. We found them on the underperforming schools list for five years running before 2018. That should mean five reports from the MEC for Education in Limpopo, and five times the Minister has failed to hold the province accountable.
Makobateng Secondary School, also from Limpopo, has been underperforming for nine years. In fact, every single school on this year’s list has been on it before.
|Province||School||Year with 40% or below pass rate|
|Limpopo||LERIANA SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL||10|
|Limpopo||MAHLABA SECONDARY SCHOOL||10|
|Limpopo||MAKOBATENG SECONDARY SCHOOL||9|
|KwaZulu-Natal||MSHIYANE HIGH SCHOOL||8|
|KwaZulu-Natal||SOMSHOKO SECONDARY SCHOOL||8|
|Limpopo||BOTSIKANA SECONDARY SCHOOL||8|
|Limpopo||TAUNG HIGH SCHOOL||8|
|KwaZulu-Natal||ISIBANI ACADEMY SCHOOL||7|
|Limpopo||MOKGOMA MATLALA SECONDARY SCHOOL||7|
|KwaZulu-Natal||MAGUBULUNDU SECONDARY SCHOOL||6|
|Limpopo||MATSEBE SECONDARY SCHOOL||6|
|Limpopo||RADIPITSI SECONDARY SCHOOL||6|
|Limpopo||SEIKGONI SECONDARY SCHOOL||6|
The ANC has washed its hands off the learners at these schools. It has no care for their futures, and whether they can secure a future in employment or further studies. This is the only story the ANC has to tell: one of siphoning government funds for connected cadres, while hardworking young South Africans are abandoned. If things have not changed for these schools for a whole decade, it is time to accept that they will never change while the failing ANC remains in power.
Our children deserve more. This is why the DA is committed to quality schooling for all South Africans – no matter where they live, and no matter what their economic background is.