Quality Education through Quality Teaching

02 January 2013

SADTU would like to welcome the 2012 matric results and thank the provinces for the work done to reach this 73% overall pass mark – a three percent increase from last year. We would like to congratulate the candidates, their families, administrators involved in the running of the examinations.

Praise also goes to the teachers who have taught these learners from the foundation phases until matric year.


Number of full time candidates: 511 152
Number of part time candidate: 81 552
Number of full time candidates who passed: 377 829
Number of full time candidates who failed: 133 323
Number of learners who obtained university entrance: 100 502
Number of Learners who obtained diploma passes: 102 013


1. Standardization process:

We congratulate Quality assurer Umlauts for transparency with the standardization process. Umalusi convened a meeting where performance in each subject was analyzed statistically and qualitatively to ensure current performance was in keeping with performance with previous years.

2. Access and quality

Although the 73% pass is an improvement, the breakdown of the actual learner figures, show a grim reality. The 26,6% bachelor pass, which translates to 133 373 out 511 152 learners who wrote is still not good enough to open the doors of institutions of higher learning.

South Africa needs good quality passes in order to meet the goals of the National Development Plan.

We note an improvement in gateway subjects -. Mathematics and Sciences. We obtained 54% in Maths and 61, 3% in Physical Science.

We also note a marked improvement in the performance of districts. Only three districts in the entire country obtained less than 60%. A significant improvement from last year when we had 15 districts performing less that 60%.


  • Western Cape,we note the reported 0.1% drop in the Western Cape from 82.9% to 82.8%. While this looks minimal we must emphasize that at stake is the lives of our children and under no circumstances must a drop of any kind be acceptable. One would re-call that it was during the course of 2012 that the provincial government of the said province was on a drive to close down 27 schools, which we fought and continue to fight against. As far as we are concerned this was but an indication of the lack of commitment from the provincial authorities to the call to make education universally accessible.
  • Northern Cape obtained 74,6% - an improvement from last year’s 68,8% despite the unrests led by communities that caused the closure of schools for most of the year. However, this good part indicates that the teachers were already way ahead with preparations for exams when the unrests began.
  • We commend the Free State for being the most improved province with 81,8%. We attribute this improvement to the leadership led by Tate Mekgoe.
  • Gauteng was the best performer with 83,9% up from 81,1% in 2011. We also commend MEC Barbara Creecy for her leadership.
  • Eastern Cape had marked improvement from 58, 1% in 2011 to 61,6%; In order to keep and improve on this momentum, it would be crucial to relook at the issue of temporary teachers in this province. Thousands of temporary teachers do not have their contracts renewed at the beginning of every year and that causes instability in education in the province. This would assist in bringing down the learner /teacher ratio in our schools which is, in some instances, goes up to one is 60 learners. This can be applied in all the provinces.
  • The North West achieved 79,5% from 77,8% - a 1,7% improvement;
  • Mpumalanga achieved 70% from 64,8%;
  • KwaZulu-Natal obtained a 5,0% increase from 2011’s 68,1% to 73,1%;
  • Limpopo also improved from 63,9% in 2011 to 66,9%.


We commend teachers for managing to come up with these marks in the face of the ever changing education environment. The teachers have had to try to adjust to the situation with very little training from the Department. We lament the fact that eighteen years into the new democracy, teacher development is still not yet consolidated.

We are aware of the infrastructure backlogs facing the system. Many school continue to teach Maths and Science with no laboratories. We are still in the dark as to how far the department is with providing adequate infrastrucru in our schools.

Language continues to be a barrier for many African home language speakers. We welcome the resolution taken by the ANC at its congress to make the indigenous language compulsory.

We call the soon- to- be-opened institutions of higher learning to priorities indigenous language instruction and as such, produce more teachers.


FETC & Higher Education Sector

We want to take this opportunity to call for the revitalisation of the FETC sector as a preferred stream of development for our learners as well. Our position is that the FETC band must not be seen as a “dumping site” for learners who are not part of the 100 502 that achieved access to higher education.

Ideally this is a stream that must be encouraged from the early stages of our learners’ secondary education so that our human development path can respond adequately to our socio-economic development needs. It is against this background that we want to call for the opening of more FET colleges. We also want to see the speedy opening of the long awaited universities in provinces of Northern Cape and Mpumalanga to facilitate access to higher education and provide more developmental options to our children.

The reality is that access to FETC and higher education must be a priority if we are serious about a developmental trajectory. It is thus critical for the admission centres in higher education institutions to be sensitive to the conditions that under privileged learners were exposed to by no doing of their own.

We are saying higher education cannot be for the privileged few, it is in actual fact a public good. We suggest that the concept of merit needs to be reconceptualised to embrace equity and access, which necessitates a policy of affirmative action to ensure that good students from poor backgrounds have equal opportunity.The issue of funding should be looked at very seriously. In fact, Higher Education is a public good and should therefore be free. We also call upon businesses to come forth and invest in educ, adoation by investing in infrastructural development, adopting learners, providing mobile laboratories and libraries and many more.

Parental Involvement in Education

Research from the best case studies in the world demonstrates beyond reasonable doubt that parental involvement in education is one of the key elements to improved learner outcomes. We therefore want to call for the increased involvement of parents in our learners’ education. On the very same note we also want to call for continuous training and development of the school governing bodies. This in our view will ensure that schools get the necessary support required in terms of governance.

We call on the employer to invest in an intensive school leadership training programme targeting school management teams and principals in particular. We again commend our teachers for their hard work against the odds with no leadership from Director General Bobby Soobrayan. His continued undermining of collective bargaining will demolarise teachers and is a recipe for labour labour unrest.We call upon the learners who didn’t do well not to give up but to look for many opportunities where they can improve their marks.

ISSUED BY: SADTU Secretariat