Zuma wishes he was back at school

African National Congress president Jacob Zuma was so impressed by a Soweto school’s pass rate on Wednesday, that he wished he was one of its pupils.

“I must say I’m over-excited to come to this school and celebrate your success,” he told pupils and teachers at Bhukulani Secondary School in Zondi.

“I wish I was among you at the right time so I could be a better person,” he said.

Zuma was accompanied by Gauteng education minister Angie Motshekga—who had described the school as the province’s pride.

“Bhukulani is one of our pride, we are proud of the teachers and the township kids. Our provincial average [pass rate] is 30% and they beat it by far. Townships are not playing.
This is where we are going to get our leaders from,” she said.

She told the school principal that she was waiting for the school to achieve a 100% pass rate.

In 2007, the school achieved a 95,3% pass rate, which increased to 98,3% in 2008.

Principal Mduduzi Mathe said he had told Motshekga to watch this space in 2007, and in 2008—of the 118 pupils who wrote matric exams—116 of them passed.

“We are not merely saying they passed, because we don’t look for quantity, but for quality. Of the 116 children who passed, 73 of them got exemptions,” he said.

“Of the only two matriculants who failed, they had passed five subjects which qualifies them to sit for supplementary examinations.”

Uneven results
Nationally, the uneven matric results for 2008 show that despite a drastic curriculum change, the South African education system is still plagued by problems rooted in the apartheid era, observers said on December 30 2008.

Vijay Reddy from the Human Sciences Research Council said the 2,7% drop in the matric pass rate to 62,5% was “very worrying because it means that 38%, or four out of ten, have failed”.

However Reddy said it was “admirable” that university entry passes increased by 4% for the first batch of matrics to have completed school under the much-contested outcomes-based education (OBE) system. - Sapa

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