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Media Release

14 December, 2007

Grade 11 pass rate bodes well for next year - Statement by Western Cape Education MEC Cameron Dugmore

The increase in the Grade 11 pass rate this year bodes well for the future as the National Curriculum Statement is being embedded and beginning to stabilise. The Western Cape has improved from 75.9% in 2006 to 76.91% in 2007, which is an increase of 1.01%.

I have no doubt that the results reflect the efforts of learners, teachers, school management teams and education officials to master the new curriculum. We are confident that the result is a fair reflection of the work of all concerned.

Special support provided by the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) included pace setters to assist schools in covering the syllabus, exemplars for exams, study tips and ongoing engagement with schools needing special support.

All learners were provided with new textbooks in Mathematics and Physical Science in 2006. Not only were textbooks for learners chosen by schools, teacher guides for these same textbooks were supplied.

The grade 11 learners have written eleven nationally set subjects with the highest enrolment. Sample moderation of the marking of these papers has enabled the WCED to make an accurate assessment of how learners have coped. This will also feed into the Grade 12 planning for next year.

It is clear from the results that learners, teachers and school management teams have grappled with the new curriculum to good effect. We can now move forward into 2008 with confidence.

Initial concerns that the department would have to adjust marks because of poor performance were not warranted. Schools could not moderate marks above a three-year average. The 2007 pass rate is above the average for the past three years.

Indications are that condonation was not necessary in many schools. However, some schools that have performed poorly in the past continue to do so. This remains a key concern.

For the first time ever our high schools have now also set targets for increased pass rates, endorsement rates and increased mathematics and science passes in grades 10, 11 and 12.

We will examine each school's performance against their targets, taking into account the context of each school.

In cases where a school has not reached its target, we will ask critical questions, identify the shortcomings, and put in place measures to support the school to make sure that our learners are thoroughly prepared for the first matric exam of the new curriculum next year.

For enquiries, contact Gert Witbooi:  082 550 3938, or gwitbooi@pgwc.gov.za or Paddy Attwell at pattwell@pgwc.gov.za.

Issued by:
Gert Witbooi
Media Liaison Officer
Office of the MEC for Education
Western Cape
Tel: 021 467 2523
Fax: 021 425 5689

Visit our website: http://wced.wcape.gov.za

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2007 WCED