ATC190226: Report of the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education on the Official Release of the National Senior Certificate (NSC) Results for 2018, dated 26 February 2019
Report of the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education on the Official Release of the National Senior Certificate (NSC) Results for 2018, dated 26 February 2019.
The Portfolio Committee on Basic Education, having attended the official release of the National Senior Certificate (NSC) results for 2018, reports as follows:
- A delegation of the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education attended the official release of the National Senior Certificate (NSC) results for 2018 on Thursday, 3 January 2019 at Vodacom World in Midrand.
- The delegation comprised the following members of the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education: Hon N Gina MP (ANC) (Chairperson), Hon J Basson MP (ANC), Hon H D Khosa MP (ANC), Hon L Meso MP (ANC), Hon A Botes MP (ANC), Hon N Tarabella-Marchesi MP (DA), Hon H S Boshoff MP (DA), Hon X Ngwezi MP (IFP) and Hon M Tshwaku MP (EFF).
- The members of staff who formed part of the delegation were Mr L Brown (Committee Secretary) and Ms S Yaphi (Committee Assistant).
The national examination system in South Africa is managed by the Department of Basic Education supported by the nine Provincial Education Departments (PEDs). National examinations are conducted in accordance with the Regulations Pertaining to the Conduct, Management and Administration of the National Senior Certificate. The Department monitors the implementation of these regulations, while the heads of examinations in the provinces are responsible for their implementation.
With the completion of the marking of the National Senior Certificate (NSC) Examinations in December 2018, the Minister of Basic Education officially announced the final results which were broadcast live nationally. The Portfolio Committee on Basic Education was invited to attend the official announcement of the results of the NSC Examinations for 2018 at Vodacom World in Midrand on 3 January 2019.
3. Presentation of the 2018 National Senior Certificate (NSC) Examination Results Technical Briefing – Mr H M Mweli, Director-General: Department of Basic Education
Mr Mweli, in his opening remarks, touched on the strategic direction of the Department and how the Sector Plan related to the SDGs and other plans. He further gave details on the shape and size of the basic education sector and touched on the social justice principles used to measure education performance i.e.:
- Quality; and
For each of the above principles, Mr Mweli gave a detailed and substantive overview of the progress of the performance of the sector.
In respect of the Class of 2018, Mr Mweli gave a detailed overview of the following:
- NSC examination;
- Profile of the class of 2018;
- New subject enrollment;
- Early Childhood Development;
- Scope and size of the 2018 NSC examinations;
- Summary of 2018 interventions;
- Historic trends;
- Overall national results;
- Policy on progression
- Multiple examination opportunities;
- Performance of the class of 2018 (including progresses learners);
- NSC passes by qualification type and quintile type;
- School performance by quintiles;
- Subject performance;
- District performance;
- Special Needs Education;
- Performance of part-time candidates;
- Age analysis; and
- Learners receiving Social Grants and candidates who wrote at Correctional Services
In his concluding remarks, Mr Mweli indicated that the results of the 2018 NSC examination confirmed that the system was on the rise. This was evident in the following:
- Improvement in the performance of seven of the nine provinces;
- An increase in the numbers and percentage of learners achieving admission to Bachelors;
- An increase in the number of quintile 1, 2 and 3 schools achieving above 80 percent pass rate;
- Improvement in the performance of key subjects
- All 75 districts performing above 50 percent; and
- A total of 34 of the 75 districts performing above 80 percent.
4. Address by Hon A Motshekga, Minister of Basic Education
The Minister, in her opening remarks, gave a broad overview of the strategic direction in the basic education sector through the implementation of the UNESCO Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 2030; the African Union Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA), 2025; the National Development Plan (NDP), 2030; the Medium-Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) and the National Strategy for Learner Attainment (NLSA), all articulated through the Action Plan to 2019: Towards the Realisation of Schooling by 2030.
Hon Motshekga further gave a short review of the education system for the last 25 years as well as the reforms and developments during this period. Educational outcomes had improved on virtually all fields including the following:
- Redress; and
The Minister also indicated that support for learners with special educational needs had increased in conformance with the social justice principle of inclusivity. There had also been a major emphasis on increasing the amount and quality of learning and teaching support materials. The Department workbooks programme, had dramatically changed the amount and quality of texts that children engaged with on a daily basis around the country.
The Department had also built effective partnerships with numerous organisations working in the education space – with local and international donors and partners, with organised labour, with the national associations on school governance, and with the private sector - coordinated through the National Education Collaboration Trust (the NECT). The direct impact of all pro-poor policies on households, had been substantial.
Hon Motshekga further detailed the skills and competencies for a changing world with the introduction of the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements (CAPS) which led to sustained improvements in the learning outcomes, which surpassed the glass ceiling of 70 percent pass rate in recent NSC examinations. The Department had since diversified the CAPS curriculum into three streams so that learners were adequately equipped with the requisite skills and competencies for a changing world. The three-stream curriculum model comprised the Academic stream, the Technical-Vocational stream, and the Technical-Occupational stream. The Class of 2018 sat for a cluster of three Technologies, namely the Civil Technology, comprising Civil Service, Construction, and Woodworking; the Mechanical Technology, comprising Automotive Fitting and Machining, Welding, and Metalwork; and Electrical Technology, comprising Electronics, Digital Systems, and Power Systems. In addition, the Class of 2018 also wrote two new subjects, namely Technical Mathematics and Technical Science.
In respect of the 2018 National Senior Certificate Examinations results, the Minister indicated that Umalusi had declared the 2018 NSC examinations to have gone smoothly without any systemic irregularities. The standardisation of the 2018 NSC examination results by Umalusi had to go through a rigorous process and Umalusi had declared the 2018 NSC examinations as “fair, valid and credible”, but noted the few minor disruptions in some parts of the country, which were “picked up and subsequently reconciled”.
Hon Motshekga further detailed the following, in respect of the Class of 2018:
- Class Profile;
- Learners with special education needs;
- Performance of progressed learners;
- Benefits of the pro-poor policies on Grade 12 results;
- Learners receiving Social Grants; and
- Examination results for candidates who wrote at Correctional Services facilities.
In respect of District performance, the Minister indicated that there was a reduced number of districts from 81 to 75 nationally. In 2018, a total of 74 of the 75 districts (98.7 percent) attained pass rates of 60 percent and above (compared to 66 of the 70 districts in 2017). A total of 34 of the 75 districts (45.3 percent of our districts) attained pass rates of 80 percent and above (compared to 31 of the 70 districts in 2017). Regrettably, one district (1.3 percent) in the Eastern Cape, achieved a pass rate lower than 60 percent. The Minister also congratulated the Eastern Cape and Limpopo for their rigorous interventions, which reduced the number of districts which performed below 60 percent in 2017. The performance of the districts during the 2018 NSC examinations was a testament that provinces were putting the shoulders to the wheel to ensure quality teaching and learning outcomes across the system. The top ten (10) performing districts in the country, with the progressed learners included, were as follows –
- Number 10 - Johannesburg North in Gauteng, with 88.6 percent;
- Number 9 - Ekurhuleni North in Gauteng, with 88.8 percent;
- Number 8 - Gauteng West in Gauteng, with 89.1percent;
- Number 7 - Tshwane North in Gauteng, with 89.6 percent;
- Number 6 - Thabo Mafutsanyana in the Free State, with 90 percent;
- Number 5 - Johannesburg West in Gauteng, with 90.1 percent;
- Number 4 - Sedibeng East in Gauteng, with 90.2 percent;
- Number 3 - Johannesburg East in Gauteng, with 90.3 percent;
- Number 2 - Tshwane South in Gauteng, with 91.7 percent; and
- Number 1 - Fezile Dabi in the Free State, with 92.3 percent
The performance per province, with progressed learners excluded, was as follows (in ascending order):
- Limpopo attained 70.6%, an improvement of 3.2% from the 67.4% achieved in 2017;
- Eastern Cape attained 71.4%, an improvement of 5.6% from the 65.8% achieved in 2017;
- Northern Cape attained 75.2%, a decline of 2.4% from 77.6% in 2017;
- KwaZulu-Natal attained 76.8%, an improvement of 3.2% from the 73.6% achieved in 2017;
- Mpumalanga attained 80.4%, an improvement of 3.8% from the 76.6% achieved in 2017;
- Western Cape attained 83.2%, a decline of 1.2% from 84.4% achieved in 2017;
- North West attained 83.8%, an improvement of 1.7% from 82.1% achieved in 2017;
- Gauteng attained 89%, an improvement of 3% from 86% achieved in 2017; and
- Free State attained 91.1%, an improvement of 1.3% from 89.8% achieved in 2017.
The performance per province, with progressed learners included, was as follows (in ascending order):
- Limpopo achieved 69.4%, an improvement of 3.8% from 65.6% achieved in 2017 – the third highest improvement;
- Eastern Cape achieved 70.6%, an improvement of 5.6% from 65% achieved in 2017 – the largest improvement in the country;
- Northern Cape achieved 73.3%, a decline of 2.3% from 75.6% achieved in 2017;
- KwaZulu-Natal achieved 76.2%, an improvement of 3.3% from 72.9% achieved in 2017; and
- Mpumalanga achieved 79%, an improvement of 4.2% from 74.8% achieved in 2017 – the second highest improvement.
- North West achieved 81.1%, an improvement of 1.7% from 79.4% achieved in 2017;
- Western Cape achieved 81.5%, a decline of 1.3% from 82.8% achieved in 2017;
- Free State, achieved 87.5%, an improvement of 1.4% from 86.1% achieved in 2017.
- Gauteng achieved 87.9%, improving from 85.1% in 2017, an improvement of 2.8%.
The Minister announced the overall 2018 NSC examination overall National performance as follows:
- With progressed leaners included – 78.2 percent (a 3.1 percent improvement); and
- With progressed learners excluded – 79.4 percent (a 2.9 percent improvement).
In celebrating the Class of 2018, The Minister thanked the principals, teachers, and parents for the work they continued to do. She also thanked the following groups:
- Parliamentary Oversight Committees (the Portfolio and Select Committees responsible for Basic Education);
- Deputy Minister E Surty;
- MECs and the respective Heads of Departments for their stewardship, leadership and continued support;
- Director-General H M Mweli and his team of officials for their continued work and support;
- All partners - teacher unions, governing body associations, business partners working through the NECT, statutory bodies, researchers and sister departments.
The official announcement by Minister Motshekga was followed by the presentation of learner awards and media interviews.
Report to be noted.
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