Tag Archives: National Senior Certificate

MEC Donald Grant launches website to assist matric pupils

Western Cape Education Department comes to the aid of matric students with the launch of a brand new website to help and assist matric students for the upcoming national senior certificate final exams. The new website is informative, engaging and entertaining. Some user have described the new website as not your average maths, science and geography lessons.

Education MEC of the Western Cape, Donald Grant,  launched the new website to support matric students with their studies and preparations for their final exams and is filled with lesson videos for  number of subjects, past papers for students to practice exam techniques and past questions, the upcoming exam timetable, as well as numerous tips, advise and suggestions to ensure that students succeed in the forthcoming finals exams.

Lessons in numerous subjects, although not all, have been uploaded via YouTube and as more lessons are completed in other key subjects, they will be uploaded. The lessons have been created and presented by experienced teachers to aid students in their preparations.

The Western Cape Educations Department formed an alliance with the University of Stellenbosch back in 2009 with the objective of broadcasting lessons in selected subjects to high schools via satellite. this year, for the very first time, lessons have been uploaded and can be view via YouTube.


Western Cape Education MEC Donald Grant
Western Cape Education MEC Donald Grant

Donald Grant stated that “Now the WCED is producing the videos by editing recordings from the telematics programmes. The department now has many hours of recordings available which are now been made available on YouTube. The WCED has posted over 180 recordings.”

Approximately 60 000 student have already registered for the 2013 matric exams which start on the 28th October. The Department of Education in the Western Cape estimated that that the vast majority of students writing this year matric exams will access the new website via their cellphones. Initially, the education department had planned to broadcast directly to high schools only towards the end of 2014 and be far more accessible for all pupils and teachers.

The website was designed and created to help the Class of 2013 and assist all students in their preparations for the national senior certificate. The launch of the new website now provides students with additional assistance, resources, and support for the upcoming exams.

The lessons and videos that have been uploaded also include discussions on previous exam papers and has focused on topics and questions which students have struggled with in previous years.

“The matric support site lists 11 topics for mathematics, ranging from equations and inequalities to trigonometry. The physics videos cover five topics, while chemistry covers four. The geography videos are classified under seven topics ranging from climate to map work and geographical information systems.

“Candidates can access the videos from drop-down lists that appear when they click on any of the topics. There are 79 videos on mathematics, 39 on physical science and 62 on geography.”

There is also a section on the website dealing with frequently asked questions. There are currently 57 FAQ’s covering six categories:

  • results
  • supplementary examinations
  • re-marking
  • certification
  • information for immigrants
  • teacher inquiries

There is also a section providing tips, advise and suggestions to assist students when it comes to time management, exam preparations, studying techniques, exam writing techniques, as well study guidelines for every matric subject.

MEC Grant encouraged all students to create and develop a personal study plan and to stick to their plans. He suggested to students to approach their teachers if they require assistance developing a study plan. He also suggested that all students access the new website and take advantage of the resources and tools available to them. Also, given that the September results are due to be released, it is a prefect time for students to focus on those areas and subject that they did not perform as well in and struggling.

To access the Matric Support Site,  CLICK HERE

More information is also available from the Western Cape Education Department’s website – http://wced.school.za/


Western Cape Class of 2013 growing for this years NSC exams

Western Cape Education Department


The Western Cape Education Department is proud of the growing number of students registering for this year’s National Senior Certificate (NSC) exams. Thus far, 48 954 full-time candidates formerly registered for the 2013 exams, an improvement of 3393 students from the previous year.

There is still roughly 2 and half months to sign up and the Western Cape Education Department (WECD) is offering assistance across the province. The government is committed to assisting and help to create the best environment for students to write and pass their NSC. The government has organized additional tutoring services and lessons at some schools to help and assist these individual schools and their students.

Western Cape MEC for Education, Donald Grant, visited Esangweni Secondary in Khayelitsha and spent time with students along with their tutors who are taking part in the winter school programme. There are 216 high schools around the province taking part and offering students assistance over the winter school break.

The vast majority of tutors are selected by the WCED and in some schools there will be curriculum advisors assisting and supporting individual programs. Supplemental resource material will also be made available from WCED to enrich the lessons and programs on offer.

The main objective of the winter programme is to reinforce the existing programs being offered at the schools, in addition to improving upon the performance of a few individual schools who are currently under performing.

The campaigns and efforts of the Western Cape government over the past 4 years have revealed remarkable results and the province has managed to decrease the total number of under-performing schools from 85 in 2009 to 26 in 2012. All efforts will remain in place and the education department hopes to continue this trend.

“To this end, and in the interests of the learners at these schools, we will continue to implement our plan, which includes a targeted and sustained strategy to support under performing and struggling schools,” said Education Department spokesperson Bronagh Casey.

Source: SAnews.gov.za, westerncape.gov.za


1 in 5 pupils achieve a pass mark of 50% in maths and science

South African Institute of Race Relations


Exactly where is South Africa education and learning heading? Only one in five pupils who wrote matric mathematics and physical science were able to obtain a mark greater than 50% as stated by research provided by South African Institute of Race Relations. Sad to say, over fifty percent of these matric pupils have failed in the last five years.

In 2012, the official national pass rate was 73.9 percent, up from 70.2 percent the year before. According to a study carried out by the Department of Basic Education’s National Diagnostic Report on Learner Performance, only 22.6% of 2012 matrics students were able to obtain a pass rate above 50% in mathematics and 24.2% in physical science.

The proportion of pupils achieving a pass in mathematics of between 70% and 100% decreased from 8.3% in 2008 to 5.9% in 2011 ever since the launch of the National Senior Certificate (NSC) in 2008. This equates to a mere 13 223 pupils who have been capable of achieving 70% or higher for mathematics. The proportion of pupils achieving between 50% and 69% improved ever so slightly increasing from 12.4% to 12.7%. Other sources have published figures that 7% of all pupils who wrote mathematics in 2012 attained a mark between 70 and 100 percent.

The published research also exposed a truly alarming statistic that more than 50% of all pupils who have written mathematics ever since the introduction of the NSC have failed and achieved a mark of less than 30%.

The institute’s research and analysis is based upon information and data made available from the Department of Basic Education and did not include results from the 2012 matric exams.

On a positive note and encouraging for the South African education system, the pass rate for physical science has improved. The proportion of pupils achieving a pass mark of 70%-100% grew from 3.4% in 2008 to 6.6% in 2011. While the proportion of pupils achieving a mark of between 50%-69% increased from 11.5% to 13.9% during the same period. Having said that, following the same pattern and results in mathematics, in excess of 50% of all pupils who have written physical science since the introduction of the NSC have failed.

Following an outcry and widespread criticism of the standard and quality of the NSC, a ministerial committee was established this past year to investigate and probe the NSC.

According to the new NSC system, a Grade 12 pupil would need to obtain 30 percent in three subjects and 40 percent in another three, including their home language. Under the old system, a minimum pass mark of 40 percent on higher grade and 33.3 percent on standard grade was required to pass matric.

A researcher at the Institute,  Jonathan Snyman, , described these statistics and failure rates as a major concern for the country which will undoubtedly have a long term impact on the growth and development of the country.

“The 30% threshold for a pass mark has been criticized for being too low, and the fact that 50% of pupils who write mathematics and physical science cannot achieve even that low threshold indicates not only that there are problems with the quality of teaching in these subjects, but also that pupils have not grasped core concepts by the time they reach matric.”

If requirements were to be brought in line with university standards with a pass mark of 50% , the genuine rate of failure for mathematics and physical science could well be as high as 80%.

Just how long will we have to wait until our leaders and politicians accept the simple fact that there exists a crisis within South African education system?

Just how long will we have to wait for the Presidency to take action and assess the role, responsibilities and results achieved by the Ministry of Education?

Send comments and questions directly to President Zuma and the Presidency

Hotline: 17737
Email: president@po.gov.za
Website: http://www.thepresidency.gov.za/
Fax: (012) 323 8246

Source: South African Institute of Race Relations


National Senior Certificate comparable to international benchmarks

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga claims the nation’s National Senior Certificate (NSC) is without question of a high standard, with matric question papers currently being set at an international level.

Motshekga asserted that the NSC pass requirements happen to be higher than the old Senior Certificate, which demanded only six subjects with four subjects passed at 40% and two at 33.3%. When it comes to NSC, admission to bachelor studies demands a pass in four subjects at 50% and the remaining subjects at 30%, provided the home language is passed at 40% and the language of learning and teaching at 30%.

Further more, NSC candidates are required to have seven subjects, as apposed to the old Senior Certificate which required only six subjects.


Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga

Motshekga pointed out that the department had expanded the National Workbook Programme to cover Grades 7, 8 and 9, with an allocation of R811 million for growing the distribution network of workbooks to Grade 9 learners for the 2012/13 financial year.

The department will be providing 54 million books this year to learners free of charge to the parent or learner. This is certainly history in the making. Also, in line with the department’s commitment to inclusive education, workbooks for Grades 1 to 6 were modified and are currently being published in braille. furthermore, grade 7 to 9 workbooks are also being adapted for Braille.

The department is without a doubt dealing with the challenge of packaging, delivery and quantity of textbooks with its ultimate objective will be to make sure that each and every pupil has a textbook for every subject.

“Provinces are required to ensure that we centralise no-fee schools purchase of textbooks to increase textbook coverage and to ensure value for money. The department is looking at the possibility that the government will print textbooks making sure that there is an increase in textbook coverage from 45% to at least 85% by 2014,” she said.

The department is going to continue to do a lot more to fast-track the provision and improvement of school infrastructure as a result of the Accelerated School Infrastructure Delivery Initiative (ASIDI). The programme has been provided with an additional boost by being part of the work of the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Committee.


Soon after the completion of the 2012 supplementary exams along with the release of results, Motshekga reported that the all round pass rate, combining the November 2011 and March 2012, examinations was in fact 72.7%, noting that in November 2011, the department had surpassed 70%.

On the other hand, the minister did raise concern with regards to the the very poor quality of passes in Maths and Science, adding the fact that the focus would undoubtedly now fall on these subjects along with technology.

To enhance the quality and quantity of passes in Maths and Science, the department is planning to implement a new national strategy for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education. It reinforces the Dinaledi Schools programme, which has been given a conditional grant of R99.7 million for 2012/13.

A Maths and Science Indaba is planned for June with key education stakeholders active in the teaching of these subjects.

Source: BuaNews