The DA would like to take this opportunity to wish all learners luck as they begin their academic year today.
It is deeply concerning that of the more than 1 million Grade 1 learners that started school in 2006, only 34.7% passed Matric in 2017.
If the Department of Basic Education (DBE) does not urgently address the crisis in our schooling system, 7 out of 10 of the Grade 1 learners starting school today will not get a Matric certificate at the end of 2029. Even worse, over half of our learners will not even reach matric.
Minister Angie Motshekga must ensure that schools like Isisusa Secondary in KZN, which I have visited today and which experienced a massive drop in its pass rate since 2015, do not continue the slide into permanent underperformance. Isisusa Secondary and other underperforming schools like it, cannot continue on this path.
Shockingly though, Motshekga continues to trumpet the achievements of a “system on the rise”. The Minister needs to ensure that all provinces ensure their schools have the necessary equipment and environment to provide our learners with a quality education.
The Minister is already failing to fulfil her legal responsibility to deal with chronically underperforming schools and she needs to step up and address these urgently.
Furthermore, schools like Isisusa that are in danger of continuing their underperformance must be urgently assisted. It is the Minister’s responsibility to make sure that provincial education departments are helping these schools to better serve their learners.
The only way to ensure our children have a brighter future is to make a serious change in government. The ANC is clearly not committed to putting the needs of the people first, caring more about protecting a criminal empire than making sure our children get quality basic education that will provide them with the best opportunities to find work.
The children of South Africa deserve a change and as adults, we have the opportunity to vote for that change in 2019.
Yesterday, the DA’s oversight visit to Fisantekraal Secondary in the DA-run Western Cape showed that, through targeted interventions by provincial government, we can improve the pass rates of our schools and secure better futures for our children and we will not rest until we ensure that no learner is left behind.