Mpumalanga’s failing independent schools face closure

Independent schools in Mpumalanga face closure if they fail to produce a matric pass rate of at least 50% for three years in a row, the province's education MEC has said.

"If we find that they have performed below 50% for three consecutive years, we will have no option but to close them down," a South African Press Association correspondent on Sunday quoted education MEC Reginah Mhaule saying.

There were 110 independent schools in Mpumalanga, five of which produced a matric pass rate of less than 50% last year.

Mhaule said 89 government schools obtained a matric pass rate below 50% last year.

However, she was optimistic that intervention programmes would make a difference to this year's matric results. These programmes include a schooling transformation and reform strategy, which offers supplementary after-school classes in mathematics and science.

The province's matric results
A total of 58 517 part-time and full-time matrics have registered for this year's matric exams in the province, which begin later in October. This was around 3 000 more pupils than last year.

The province's matric results have improved since 2009, when it obtained a 47.9% pass rate.

In 2010, 56.8% was obtained, 64.8% in 2011, and 70% in 2012.

Of the 47 889 matrics who wrote exams in 2012, 33 504 passed. Of these, 9 495 qualified for bachelor programmes, 14 277 for diplomas, 9 633 for higher education certificates and 99 achieved the National Senior Certificate. – Sapa

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