Cheating schools to lose funds – MEC


Independent schools in Gauteng that obtained a pass rate of less than 50% in the 2014 matric exams will lose their government subsidies.

This is according to education MEC Panyaza Lesufi, following his announcement of Gauteng’s matric results, which earned it the top spot in the country.

“The department intends to monitor the performance of subsidised independent schools, some of which contributed to a decline in the province’s results,” Lesufi said.

“Those which have scored less than 50% have kissed our subsidies goodbye. I’m not going to give money to schools that are not performing,” he said.

Gauteng’s matric pass rate dropped by 2.3%, from 87.2% in 2013.

Lesufi revealed yesterday that five of the six schools implicated in exam cheating in Gauteng were independent schools, and said they would be deregistered should they be found guilty.

“We don’t want cheating in our system. We don’t want other provinces to say we are No1 because we are cheating,” he said.

Lesufi believed the Twinning of Schools programme – intended to build collaboration between better- and lesser-resourced schools – would help to increase the province’s academic performance. He said he was ready to challenge schools that were opposed to the programme in the Constitutional Court.

“The resources of this state will be shared by all the children of this province. No child must benefit or be denied access to a laboratory or swimming because of the colour of their skin,” he said.

But Tim Gordon, the CEO of the Governing Body Foundation, said some of the resources at schools were funded by parents, and therefore belonged to the school under the Schools Act.

“We are understanding … and are willing to assist … but this programme should not consist of forced partners, rather willing partners,” said Gordon.

And it came to pass

  • Only 42.5% of all children who started school in 2003 wrote the matric exams last year.
  • Countrywide, 111 schools have achieved a 100% pass rate in the past five years.
  • 45 schools recorded pass rates below 40% in the past five years.
  • 3003 schools achieved pass rates of 80% and above in 2014.
  • 150 schools achieved between 1% and 19.9% pass rates in 2014.
  • In the Eastern Cape, for every 100 pupils in Grade 10 in 2010 only 29 made it to matric and passed, compared with 53 in Western Cape.
  • Seroletshidi Secondary in Limpopo obtained a 14.3% pass rate in 2010, 0% in 2011, 13.3% in 2012, 25% in 2013 and 0% in 2014.
  • In the wealthiest schools, the number of pupils who qualified for university entrance dropped from 55282 in 2013 to 34843.
  • But the wealthiest schools notched up 40.3% of all university-qualifying passes, up from 32% in 2013.
  • More than seven million exam scripts were marked.