Pleasing resultS- Concerns about QUALITY!

Mr Basil Manuel, President of the National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa (NAPTOSA) welcomed the release of the 2012 National Senior Certificate (NSC) results. The overall improvement in the pass rate from 70.2% in 2011 is pleasing, especially as it follows the improvement that was achieved in 2011.

However, the focus on pass rates can be very misleading.  The real focus should be on the quality of passes. While it is pleasing that the number of candidates qualifying for diploma and degree studies has improved, much still needs to be done to bring this number up to an acceptable level.

Whilst the focused intervention by the Department of Basic Education through initiatives such as “winter and spring schools” seems to have contributed to the improved results, these practices should not become the norm. Teachers must be responsible for quality teaching and learning in their class rooms throughout the year, he said. The mind set of “rescuing situations” by special interventions must be changed, Mr Manuel added.

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. Provincial Departments, in particular, need to be congratulated on an examination that was generally incident free, said Mr Manuel. Noting that the NSC is in its fifth year, he said, the management of the examination process is indicative of a maturing system.

Most importantly NAPTOSA 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.  However, teachers need to be further empowered through effective professional development strategies designed to meet their individual needs.

The disruption of schooling in the Northern Cape has undoubtedly impacted negatively on learner performance. Never again should the education of our children be held to ransom for the achievement of personal or political gain. NAPTOSA wishes to commend those learners in the Northern Cape for their efforts under trying circumstances.  

NAPTOSA congratulates all of the successful candidates of the Class of 2012! You have done your parents, teachers and your schools proud, said Mr Manuel.

Finally, although the focus is on those candidates who have been successful in the 2012 examination NAPTOSA wishes to encourage those candidates who were unsuccessful. Mr. Manuel said that NAPTOSA urges those candidates to either return to school to complete their education or explore other options of further study that are available.