The Democratic Alliance (DA) wished all those starting Grade 1 on Wednesday 15 January 2020, a great schooling career, however, the blue party could not avoid mentioning that according to statistics, only one out of three of them would go on to matriculate.
DA Minister of Basic Education Nomsa Marchesi explained that when looking at the number of pupils who started school in 2008 and those who passed matric in 2019, only 37.6% of those pupils pass matric.
“This means that statistically, two in three learners will therefore not make it to matric. The DA has remained at the forefront of fighting the many issues that cause this statistic, and we do so on behalf of every learner, as all our children deserve access to quality education,” said Marchesi.
A failing school system
Marchesi visited several schools in Bloemfontein where, according to their statement, there are a number of Quintile one and two schools allegedly asking parents for a non-refundable application fee.
“This is illegal as these schools are meant to be free and not require application fees from parents. The Department of Education needs to be more vigilant and responsive to the plight of parents in public schools, and obstacles such as these are an indication of a failing school system,” she said.
Marchesi said that the country has been living under an ANC government for 26 years, yet the problems in our education system have not improved.
“Year in and year out we are constantly calling the ANC to account for the ongoing problems that are not resolved adequately in order to make a meaningful impact on learners,” she said.
DA calls on Angie Motshekga to step down
The DA explained that South African pupils are resilient school-goers, constantly striving to overcome the many challenges posed by an education system fraught with problems.
The party said that while pupils constantly choose to make the best they can of their time in school, the throughput for learners in Grade 1 to Grade 12 continues to drop, year in and year out, since 2017.
“Our teachers and learners face a lack of infrastructure, budget deficits, lack of resources, violence in schools and many more devastating circumstances hindering their access to education. Our citizens do not deserve any of these inefficiencies, and those responsible for them sit in Parliament with no regard for the suffering these issues cause,” said Marchesi.
“The DA reiterates its call for the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, to step down because the education system of South Africa is in dire need of resuscitation. Our children deserve better, change is needed now more than ever,” added the statement.