“It’s higher than what we inherited when we came into office. It’s higher than what Minister [Naledi] Pandor inherited when she became a minister so there’s no lowing but actually lifting. She actually raised the standards and made passing much more difficult. The 78.2 per cent of 2013 has nothing to do with all the other things,” Motshekga told CNBC Africa.
“All that I have is what I’ve inherited from Minister Pandor. When she came into office there was a pass mark of 25 per cent, she removed it. There was standard grade passes, she removed it. What I have in 2013 is what was there in 2009 when we were at 60 per cent.”
The matric class of 2013 obtained a 78.2 pass rate with matriculants in the Free State scoring the highest pass rate with 87.4 per cent.
Motshekga believes that this is mainly due to the province taking the notion of education and societal issues seriously.
“In the Free State, the premier was centrally involved in the work that was happening in the province. [From] the MEC of Education, [to the] mayors, [and] local structures, Premier [Ace] Magashule has been mobilising the entire community of the Free State. What I also think was a winning mark in the Free State is the support that they’ve managed to nurture with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) – there are a number of NGOs that have found home in the Free State,” she said.
“For instance, Shanduka [Group] and Kagiso Trust were doing work in Thabo Mofutsanyana [which] is a very poor district because almost 90 per cent of the schools of that region come from QwaQwa [which is also disadvantaged]. Because of the partnership that they’ve struck not only with [the] teacher unions, parents but with NGOs, you can see the results. It’s also the support that we’ve been getting from civil society that is enabling us to break through and make the progress that we are making.”