This is while another struggling provincial school had it’s 2017 matric results “withheld” by national Basic Education department amid suspicions of bulk cheating.
This was revealed yesterday by education MEC Mandla Makupula while delivering the provincial overview during a press briefing in East London attended by provincial government officials and some MECs.
Makupula yesterday revealed that the results of Bhongolethu Senior Secondary School in the Amathole East education district were withheld as the school was being investigated by the national department amid suspicions that 14 of its 15 pupils who sat for matric, had cheated during their exams.
The disgraced school is also being classified as having obtained a zero percent pass rate after their only pupil who was not allegedly involved in such cheating, also failed.
The probe comes after the 14 pupils were found in the exams with crib notes on small papers and some in their cellphones. “Fourteen of the 15 learners that wrote in that school were caught with crib notes and some exam information on their cellphones. As a result, an investigation by the examinations irregularity committee of the national department has been launched,” Makupula said.
Numerous attempts to get comment from the school proved fruitless late yesterday, while the department’s administration head, superintendent-general Themba Kojana, yesterday refused to be drawn into commenting about the matter.
“This is such a sensitive matter that involves the emotions of many people including parents and those affected learners.
“It would be inappropriate for us as the provincial department to comment on the matter while investigations were still ongoing. We would rather wait for the probe to be completed by the national department before we could even speak about this,” Kojana said.
The disgraced Bhongolethu school obtained a 31.4% pass rate in 2015, but this escalated to 37.5% the following year.
Makupula said his department would do its utmost this year to assist the struggling Isivivane Senior Secondary School in Ezibeleni township in Komani where not one of the 17 matric pupils managed to pass.
The school, which took provincial honors as the worst performer, is situated in the Chris Hani West education district. In 2016 Isivivane obtained a 25% pass rate.
Last year two provincial schools, Msobomvu High School in East London and Middle Zolo Senior Secondary in Cofimvaba, had a zero percent pass rate.
At the 928 centres where matric exams were written, 32 provincial schools, including the evergreen Ulwazi High School in Mdantsane, managed to achieve a 100% pass rate. Ulwazi High, which was honored for their outstanding performance by Jacob Zuma two years ago, has consistently achieved top marks for all its matriculants for the past few years now.
They are among seven schools in the Buffalo City Metro district that had managed to make it into the top 32 schools that achieved a 100% pass. The other schools are Beaconhurst, Clarendon Girls, Kingsridge, Lilyfontein, Stirling, and Vukuhambe Special School. Vukuhambe and Efata School For The Blind in Mthatha managed a clean sweep in the 2017 exams.
Nine schools in BCM appear on the top 50 list of those who have performed dismally in the past exams.
Makupula said he was “concerned and worried that BCM, with all the resources at their disposal”, was placed seventh in the list of 12 education districts when it comes to performance. Three of the province’s top achievers came from previously disadvantaged rural schools.
By ASANDA NINI and ARETHA LINDEN/DispatchLive