The Gauteng department education (GDE) remains unwavering in its decision to shut down all independent schools and one public school that received below 50% matric passes.
This follows Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga’s announcement of the 2019 National Senior Certificate examinations outcomes two weeks ago that saw the country’s pass rate increase from 78.2% in 2018 to 81.3%. Motshekga said the top-performing province was the Free State with 88.4%, followed by Gauteng with 87.2%, North West (86.8%) and Western Cape (82.3%).
But Gauteng missed the top province prize, which left education MEC Panyaza Lesufi disheartened though he was pleased there had been a decrease in underperforming public schools.
“In the next few days, the department will meet school management teams of all public schools that performed below 65% and hold them to account for their poor performance,” said Lesufi.
In an initial response to Sunday World’s inquiry, GDE spokesman Steve Mabona said all schools that received less than 50% were independent school only. “The technical report shows you that we don’t have a public school performing under 50%, check those schools with an under 50% performance, they are independent schools and the MEC announced [that] we will shut the lowest independent schools down, learners will be accommodated at other schools,” he said.
But according to a technical report document seen by Sunday World there is one public school, Katleho-impumelelo
Secondary School in Sedibeng received an average pass rate of 45.71%.
Mabona admitted that Katleho-impumelelo performed below 50% and was among the few in which the department had to intervene.
“We have already taken the decision that we are going to close them down. Remember, independent schools are supposed to supplement public schools, so if they are not doing well we have to cut the subsidy
[as] we can’t subsidise schools that are not performing,” Lesufi said.