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Call for six out of 10 schools in SA to become technical schools

03 January 2019 - 18:31 By Nico Gous
Image: Gallo Images/ IStock

Six out of 10 schools in South Africa need to become technical schools.

That was the view of basic education director-general Mathanzima Mweli on Thursday during a technical briefing in Midrand ahead of the release of the 2018 matric results.

“We need to change, to move towards making sure that 60% of our schools offer technical, occupational as well as technical vocational skills … to create the skills and competencies that would afford economic growth in our country,” he said.

There are 25,762 schools in the country - 23,796 public and 1,996 private. And there are 1,010 technical high schools.

According to Mweli, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the basic education department should transform some academic schools to technical schools.

“He [Ramaphosa] said to us, we must start with [computer] coding as early as possible … Those are skills we need to start offering to make sure that our young people are equipped to participate in the skills for the changing world in the fourth industrial revolution.”

Mweli said there was a “major” drop in the number of learners enrolled for accounting and business studies.

“If we don’t arrest the situation in accounting and business studies, we might have to import chartered accounts from neighboring countries and from across the ocean,” he said.

The matric pass rate peaked in 2013 with a 78.2% pass rate. The 2017 pass rate was 75.1%. Basic education minister Angie Motshekga will announce the 2018 pass rate on Thursday evening.

In 2018, 624,733 full-time and 176,110 part-time matriculants wrote the National Senior Certificate (NSC) exam. Of these, 45.2% were male and 54.8% female.

To pass the NSC exam a learner needed to obtain:

  • 40% for a home language;
  • 40% for two other subjects; and
  • 30% for three subjects.

The class of 2018 wrote 7.6 million scripts at 6,888 exam centres, supervised by 65,000 invigilators. The scripts were marked by 41,000 people at 141 marking centres.

In 2018, 11 schools had zero matrics who passed. They were from quintile 1 and 2-schools. The quintile rating of a school is based on the income‚ unemployment and illiteracy of the surrounding area. Quintile one to three schools do not ask for school fees.

In 2017, seven schools had no matrics who passed.