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2004, 9H00, LEEUWENHOF
Premier and Mrs Rasool
Fellow Cabinet Colleagues
Mayors, Councillors
SG, and other senior officials from my department
Representatives of Teacher, Governing Body and Student Organisations
Parents, Achievers of the awards and guests
I also want to acknowledge the presence of former National Education Minister
Professor Kader Asmal, and my provincial predecessor Advocate Andre Gaum.
I want to thank the many learners and parents who were able to attend at short
notice such a joyous occasion. I am sure the parents of the learners who were
contacted yesterday by the department must have been very anxious and proud
to hear they had been invited to the Premier's residence.
Congratulations to all our Matriculants who have passed. You have made all of
us proud, your parents and the communities you represent.
For those who were not successful, this is not the end of the world. I want to
encourage you to enrol for the supplementary examination before 18 January
2005. Use every day you have to improve your skills.
Volunteer, work part time, read, teach, learn and discover every waking hour. A
new dawn is rising over us, over you and Africa. Tomorrow will be better than
And in today, in these beautiful gardens of Leeuwenhof, where slaves toiled for
their masters, we now hold the light which gives us hope. Soze sizakulibela
imbali yethu aph' entshona koloni.Sivelaphi? Siyahamba phi? Masibeke
ngaphambili. Asijiki.
Premier, I am proud to announce that for the fourth time in a row, we have
achieved a pass rate of more than 80%. This year the Western Cape achieved
an 85% pass rate. However, my Ministry is fully aware that the top performers
have historically emerged from advantaged communities. These learners have
done the Western Cape proud.
Further, we realize that the pass rate fails to reflect the high percentage of
learners who drop out due largely through socio-economic factors before they
reach matric. Each year 80,000 learners in our province begin grade 1. Maar net
40,000 behaal matriek. Dit is ons grootste uitdaging.
In die toekoms gaan ons die skole vereer wat ons kinders in die skool hou, weg
van tik, weg van die bendes en 'n pad uit wanhoop. Die onderwysers gee hoop
vir ons kinders. Hulle is die lig wat brand en nooit doodgaan nie. Hulle is die ware
helde. Angamaqhawe nyani. Bona baza kuyiyitshintsha le Ntshona Koloni.
In order to meet the enormous challenges we face in education, the department
will seek partnerships with labour, business, local government, NGO's and other
social partners. We realize schools cannot operate in a vacuum and require
wider, sustained support.
The new look Western Cape Education Foundation, which will be launched next
year, will blend this partnership into a real vehicle for transformation, equity and
Arguably the Western Cape government has been haunted by the spectre of
apartheid for longer than other provinces, which has required my Ministry to
challenge a deeply entrenched status quo. Within a short space of time the
Department of Education has initiated the following interventions:
      Stabilized the teaching profession by obtaining additional funding from the
       provincial treasury, to save 1,800 teaching posts and employ 365 more
       teachers next year. I want to the thank the Premier, MEC Brown and my
       Minister, Minister Naledi Pandor, for their support in what was a difficult
      Laid the basis to increase the number of maths HG passes from 4,000 this
       year to 8,000 in 2009.
      Initiated on instruction of yourself Premier, the development of a provincial
       Human Resource Strategy with a focus on youth, which is being
       operationalised and linked with our sister department's lead strategies as
       we try and work in a seamless way
      Electrified every school in our province, meeting our 100 day targets.
      Initiated a land audit of unutilised education property for possible
       alienation to generate additional funds to build the 65 schools we need,
      Developed a policy guideline on the optimal utilisation of classroom space,
       this policy will be finalised after extensive consultation in 2005.
      Furthermore, the Western Cape Education Department is committed to
       improving performance, enhancing accountability by doing the following:
      Making sure that actual teaching starts in all schools on 19 January 2005,
       the day school starts, and we will closely monitor the quality of tuition in
       schools at risk
      Redeploying some of our district and head office staff, including circuit
       managers, so that they will be optimally used and held accountable
      Reviewing the results of grade 8 to 11 to ensure throughput and ensure
       that the areas of maths, science and accounting are prioritised
      Aligning our human resource strategy so that it supports all bands of
       education and develops learners with knowledge, skills, values and
       attitudes to contribute to the provincial economy, fighting poverty and
       creating work
      Make sure every high school has a computer lab by the end of next year,
       and in partnership with Multi-Choice, equip our schools with a sattelite
       dish, television and VCR set.
      Build partnerships with business, other government departments, social
       partners and communities - for example I have requested our 30
       municipalities to honour and celebrate their local top learners in the New
       Year. I have asked each mayor to consider the allocation of a bursary or
       cash prize for the best overall matriculant in their municipality, as well as
       to the best maths, science and accountancy higher grade learners from
       historically disadvantaged schools in their towns. I would like to thank
       those Mayors who have already taken up my request.
There is much to celebrate. A significant number of our schools have increased
the number of learners who passed the Senior Certificate from 2003 to 2004. In
some schools the numbers have increased by more than 30 learners.
This year has seen more learners enrolled for the Senior Certificate examination:
38,896 - which is an improvement on the last two years.
The further good news is that, although our percentage pass rate of 85% for
2004 represents a slight drop of 2,1% compared to 2003, all indications are that
the quality of our education is steadily improving.
The number of candidates achieving endorsement, increased from 10,323 last
year, to 10,524 this year - which is an increase of 201 learners.
The number of candidates who passed with Distinction, which is an aggregate of
more than 80%, increased from 2,170 to 2,202 - which is an increase of 23
Premier, there are also some good news on the subjects of mathematics and
science. In 2003 we had 3,938 candidates who passed maths on the higher
grade. This year we have increased it to 4,268, which is an increase of 330
In 2003 we had 3,892 learners who passed physical sciences on the higher
grade. This year we have increased it to 3,937, which is an increase of 45
I am very pleased with the fact that 70% of our 386 high schools have recorded a
Distinction Pass Rate of more than 80%. Of these, 157 schools have achieved a
pass rate of 96% or more.
This confirms that the standards of our education is high, and challenges the
notion that only a well-resourced school is capable of delivering quality
The schools, which have contributed to the increases in numbers on the quality
indicators, are from the entire spectrum of school types - former model C
schools, former House of Representatives and former DET.
In this respect the number of endorsements from former DET schools has risen
from 270 in 2003 to 390 in 2004 and the number of higher grade maths
candidates from 78 to 136.
Nibethile abafundi! Wel gedaan! These are small numbers. There is considerable
room for improvement, but they mark the steady but significant growth that we
aim to achieve over the next five years.
An increasing number of former model C schools have also, via admissions,
opened their doors to large numbers of Coloured and African learners and have
continued to achieve outstanding results. Here I wish to mention the Sans Souci
Girls' High School, which has achieved over 75% endorsement rate over three
This school, which will be honoured later has 46 Coloured matrics, 5 White, 18
African and 12 Indian. My Latin tells me that Sans Souci means without equal.
The opportunity you have given black female learners is indeed worthy of
emulation. In this respect I also want to mention the efforts of Settlers and
Pinelands High schools.
I am also proud of the achievements of schools such as Harry Gwala, Hoërskool
Robertson, Hoërskool Ladismith, Augsburg Landbou Gimnasium, Groot
Brakrivier Hoërskool, Swartberg Sekondêr en Diazville Hoërskool.
Therefore, today we not only celebrate the achievements of the candidates and
schools, but also pay tribute to the principals, the teachers and all our
communities, for their contribution towards growing the Western Cape as a
Learning Home for All our Children.
Premier, this is a tangible reflection of the commitment of the WCED and our
communities to your call for this province to be a Home for All.
This year the WCED has chosen to reward improvement or consistency of
performance while maintaining or increasing Grade 12 enrolment levels.
As it is our intention to ensure that learners continue through to Grade 12, learner
numbers in Grades 8 to 11 over the previous four years will be tracked. All
schools, including independent schools, entering candidates for the Senior
Certificate examination of the WCED were eligible for awards.
We know that our schools exist in very different social realities. Therefore, the
department has introduced various categories, which take these differences into
account and apply to the three-year period from 2002 to 2004. But Mr Brian
Schreuder from my department will explain all of that to you.
In addition, the SG will honour a new school in Kraaifontein who have truly, in
two short years, made great strides towards quality. Our students in Khayelitsha
have shown improvement. Quality is no longer the sole preserve of a few
I must also mention to you that, this afternoon, the Presidential nodal zone of
Mitchell's Plain and Khayelitsha will play host at the Rocklands Civic Centre in
Mitchell's Plain for an event to honour their top achievers. As mentioned, I have
also asked our Mayors in the different municipalities to do the same in the new
We are celebrating to reward, but also to encourage our learners to continue
their education in FET Colleges, Technikons or Universities.
I have therefore approached various leading corporate citizens to assist with
government's efforts in building a learning home for all our children, by providing
promising matrics with financial assistance who want to enter the fields of
science, maths and technology. SAICSA, ETV, Checkers Shoprite, Master
Maths, MECER computers are but some who have responded to our call. I want
to thank them for doing so.
I am looking forward to the challenges of 2005, to work with our schools,
teachers and parents, governing bodies and unions, to continue improving the
quality of education in this province. We have a vision - a home for all. We have
a plan - iKapa elihlumayo and our job as education is to develop the HRD
strategy to implement the plan and fulfil the vision.
Together we cannot fail. African, Coloured, White and Indian, men and women,
Christian, Hindu, Muslim and Jew, we will make this province a home for all. City
and platteland, emaphandleni. Those with barriers to learning. Sizakusenza le
In conclusion, Premier and honourable guests, the smooth process of the
administration of the exams and excellent results, is a reflection of the dedication,
commitment and professionalism of the officials of our department under the
leadership of the Superintendent-General Ron Swartz, Deputy-Director General
Brain Schreuder, Chief Director Penny Vinjevold, Director of Curriculum
Development Jenny Rault-Smith, Director of Examinations André Clausen, and
many other directors and staff of our Education Management and Development
Centres. I want to thank them for their efforts and hard work.
But most importantly, I want to thank the 28,500 teachers and 8,000 public
servants on whom we depend to deliver education to our learners.
We have done well. We have improved quality. Our historically disadvantaged
schools are doing it. All of our schools are our priority, especially those where
poverty stalks. Where human potential is often crushed. But there is work to be
Let us bring the dawn quickly. Let us take the stars from the sky. Darkness, your
days are now few, for we have the light in our hands, together.
I thank you...
For enquiries, contact Gert Witbooi: 082 550 3938, or gwitbooi@pgwc.gov.za.
Gert Witbooi, Media Secretary
Office of the MEC for Education
Western Cape
Tel: 021 467 2523
Fax: 021 425 5689
Visit our website: http://wced.wcape.gov.za
The Western Cape - A Home for All
INtshona Koloni - iKhaya loMntu wonke
Die Wes-Kaap - 'n Tuiste vir Almal

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