/ 29 January 2024

Matric: Eastern Cape teachers the unsung heroes

Too Much Book Learning, Too Little Work For Matrics
The teachers of the Eastern Cape have emerged as unsung heroes, pushing the boundaries to secure an impressive 81.4% pass rate in the 2023 matric results.

In the realm of education, where problems often overshadow achievements, the teachers

of the Eastern Cape have emerged as unsung heroes, pushing the boundaries to secure an impressive 81.4% pass rate in the 2023 matric results. 

This triumph is not just a testament to their dedication but also an indicator of the remarkable improvement the province has witnessed in the past five years, overcoming adversities that include geographical isolation, inadequate infrastructure, teacher shortages, and environmental problems such as impassable roads and river crossings.

The Eastern Cape teachers have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the future of our children. The province achieved a noteworthy 76.5% pass rate in 2019, a substantial improvement from the previous years. This consistent upward trajectory is a clear indication that, even in the face of adversity, the Eastern Cape’s education system is on an upward trajectory.

We must recognise the Herculean efforts of these educators, who often go beyond their call of duty. Many teachers find themselves teaching multiple subjects because of a

shortage of educators, sacrificing their weekends to provide extra classes. Poor infrastructure, bad roads and pit toilets in some schools have not deterred them from their mission. 

While celebrating the achievements, it is crucial to address the problems. Imagine the heights that could be reached if the provincial government steps in to bridge these educational gaps. Vacant teaching positions should be filled to ensure that every school has the necessary faculty. Investment in proper infrastructure and the provision of essential study materials are key elements that can propel the province towards the coveted 100% pass rate.

This is not an unattainable dream for the Eastern Cape. It requires a collaborative effort, with the provincial government playing a pivotal role. The Eastern Cape teachers have shown what they can achieve against the odds; now, it is time for the government to reciprocate their dedication with the necessary support.

In extending my gratitude to the Eastern Cape teachers, I also raise my voice in

advocating for the support they need. Let us unite to ensure that the future of our children is not hindered. The journey to 100% is possible; it is a path that the Eastern Cape has already started treading, and with the right support, success is certain.

Andile Sokani focuses on public health’s social and behavioural aspects and the political economy of gender equity and empowerment.