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Eastern Cape pulling through in “Annus Horribilis”

Having been subjected to various challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, Eastern Cape MEC for Education Fundile Gade applauded those who have contributed to the stabilisation of teaching and learning.

Seeing that over 130 000 candidates managed to write NSC/SC  2020 examinations, and no child was left behind, including those who tested positive to COVID 19, the achievement thereof has proven to be a game-changer.

With 68.1%, which is a drop from 76.4% of 2019 with all Districts experiencing a drop in pass the highest being 14.9% drop in Joe Gqabi, followed by OR Tambo Coast at 12.5%, Fundile Gade says, “there were pockets of excellence that deserve a standing ovation.”

This being two learners who represented the Eastern Cape very well in the national senior certificate awards run by the Minister of Basic Education for the whole country.

“I am happy to announce that the national top learner in South Africa came from the Eastern Cape. Reynhardt Buys from Pearson High was awarded a national Top Perming Learner Award in South Africa, also placing 3rd Place in Mathematics Achievement nationally, and placed 1st Place in Quintile 5 Schools Achievement category. Secondly, is a Simamkele Bongo from Xolilizwe SSS in our deep rural context, who placed 3rd in the Quintile 3 schools’ category,” adds MEC Fundile Gade.

Bachelor passes were least affected at 30%, showing a drop 2.3% from 2019 Bachelor pass, however, more learners earned a Bachelor in 2020 at 21886 compared to 20419 in 2019. With three districts the BCM at 37.5%, followed by NMB at 36.9% and Sarah Baartman at 32.8%, obtaining the highest Bachelor passes.

Adding to top 3 performing Districts Nelson Mandela at 75.5%, BCM at 73.6%, as well as CHW at 70.5%. To an extent, “Quintile 1-3 schools were the hardest hit by the pandemic, dropping by 9% on average. Quintile 4 had a slight drop of 4.7% from 82.7% to 78% and, Quintile 5 remains unchanged in their pass average of 92.2%. Trends are indicating that the poorest Quintiles were the most affected,” explains the MEC.

Hit hard in Physical Science papers, Fundile Gade says that the province has improved in Business Studies, from 68% to 77.8% and History improved from 87.2 to 87.9. This includes a significant improvement in English First Additional Language, from 96.5% to 98.5%.

Other than that, improvement in Distinctions per District are said to be quite commendable as well. With BCM maintaining a healthy improvement of Distinctions from 4.4% to 4.6%, followed by Sarah Baartman from 2.8% to 4%, as well as Amathole East from 3% to 4% improvement. Noteworthy improvements were also shown by the following Districts: Alfred Nzo West from 1.9% to 2%, Amathole West from 1.4% to 2% and Chris Hani West from 2.2% to 2.4%.

In conclusion, the MEC has shared his gratitude towards learners, their teachers, parents, the Unions, the School Governing Body Associations, and individual School Governing Bodies, who prepared the learners for the NSC examinations and those who administered the examinations.

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