Mr Nkosipendule “ Star” Ntantala, the newly elected President of the National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa (NAPTOSA), commenting on the results of the 2016 National Senior Certificate (NSC) commended the Department of Basic Education (DBE) on its management of the NSC examination involving approximately 800 000 candidates. The modest increase in the overall pass rate from 70.7% in 2015 to 72.5% in 2016 is welcomed.
However, NAPTOSA’s congratulations are muted by the continued dishonesty and ongoing cheating by learners and officials in the 2016 NSC examination, said Mr Ntantala. NAPTOSA is concerned that the continued crisis in Limpopo which includes the Vuwani tragedy, exam question paper leaks, and group copying, is a sad reflection on the National Departments' administration of the province and calls into question the effectiveness of the administration of the province. This is evidenced by the poorer results from Limpopo.
NAPTOSA welcomes the modest improvement and sees the increase in overall results, as the system stabilizing itself. NAPTOSA is very concerned about the drop in performance in some African home languages .We as a nation need to urgently look at how the Incremental Introduction to African Languages (IIAL) can be effectively implemented moving forward from Grade R through to Grade 9, he added. In addition, the Mathematical Literacy results are still disconcerting as Mathematical Literacy was designed to improve numeric literacy.
While acknowledging the increase in the real numbers of candidates who passed, NAPTOSA believes that the time has come to focus on the quality of passes. NAPTOSA therefore welcomes the increase in Bachelor passes from 25.8 % in 2015 to 26.6 % in 2016, said Mr Ntantala. NAPTOSA is especially encouraged by the improvement of Bachelor and Diploma passes in quintile 1, 2 and 3 schools. This is indicative that education clearly is the key in reducing inequality, said Mr Ntantala and further illustrates that quality public education is the gateway to uplifting the masses.
It is a matter of grave concern, said Mr Ntantala that approximately 74% of learners have still not been able to meet the higher cognitive demands and that Umalusi was required to make upward adjustments, particularly in subjects with large enrollments. Mr Ntantala added that these poor results demand that a thorough investigation be done into the root causes of poor performance in these subjects, including the social, psychological and economic factors and the extent to which wrong appointments made through corrupt practices have impacted on the system.
NAPTOSA once again raises the issue of the unacceptable dropout rate which sees less than 60% of learners starting in Grade 1 reaching matric twelve years later. We are doing the children of South Africa a great injustice, said Mr Ntantala. However, the DBE’s “2nd Chance” initiative is welcomed by NAPTOSA in that we are allowing more learners an opportunity to complete the NSC. NAPTOSA does have reservations on how these learners will be supported countrywide, he added. NAPTOSA will be remiss if it does not welcome the DBE’s “Three Stream Model” [Academic, Technical/Occupational and Vocational/Skills] that will enable learners of South Africa to become functional citizens, said Mr Ntantala.
Examination Directorates in the national and provincial departments (as well as the Umalusi officials) need to be commended for their management of the National Senior Certificate examination, said Mr Ntantala.
NAPTOSA also wishes to commend the dedicated teachers (from Grade R to Grade 12) who have made an enormous contribution to the successes that we are celebrating today. The 2016 NSC diagnostic analysis should inform how and where teachers need to be further empowered through effective professional development strategies designed to meet their individual needs.
Although the focus is on those candidates who have been successful in the 2016 examination, NAPTOSA wishes to encourage those candidates who were unsuccessful. Mr Ntantala urges these candidates either to return to school to complete the NSC or to explore other options of further study that are available.
Finally, the leadership of NAPTOSA, Mr Ntantala (President) and Mr Basil Manuel (Executive Director), congratulates all the successful candidates of the Class of 2016! You have done your parents, teachers and your schools proud.
End of Statement
Enquiries: Mr Nkosipendule Ntantala (President) – 072 198 0599
Mr Basil Manuel (Executive Director) - 079 508 6228