Parents ‘key to best grade 12 results’

For the past four years, the matric results in Tshwane South has been the leading district in Gauteng. 

The area, which includes Laudium and Atteridgeville, took the coveted number one spot for consecutive years as the country’s top performing district. 

The district achieved an 89.6% matric pass rate in 2020, down from 93.3% in 2019. 

The district director, Hilda Kekana, said this week that she has been using one winning formula to ensure the schools in her district perform well. “The involvement of parents is key.” 

Kekana says she runs a programme where she meets the grade 12 learners and their parents and spells out what is expected of them. The parents are also given a schedule of all the activities the learners will participate in during the matric year. 

“Some parents are happy to buy school uniform and say ‘go to school my child’, but they do not interact with the teachers; they do not even look at the school books. So when I talk to them I tell them ‘open those books, check the marks’ and if you find that your child scored five out of 50 go to the teacher and ask ‘why is my child getting five? What is the problem?’” she says. 

This and other interventions, such as having classes seven days a week from 7am to 4pm, have helped, especially when schools reopened after lockdown.

Six of Gauteng’s districts made it to the top 10 2020 matric results. The top 10 districts had an above 85% pass rate. 

Fezile Dabi district in the Free State has also been a permanent feature in the country’s best performing districts. In 2018 the district, which includes Kroonstad and Parys, topped the country’s ranking with its 92.3% pass rate. It ranked sixth in the 2020 results by achieving an 86.5% pass rate. It is the top performing district in the Free State. 

The two other Free State districts that featured in the top 10 2020 matric results are Thabo Mofutsanyana, which encompasses Phuthaditjhaba, with 85.5% and Motheo, which includes Thaba ’Nchu, with 85.2%. 

The Metro North district in the Western Cape, which includes Bellville and Milnerton, also made it into the top 10 with an 85.5% pass rate. 

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Bongekile Macupe
Bongekile Macupe is an education reporter at the Mail & Guardian.

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