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The EFF Statement on Matric Results 2014 – EFF

EFFThe EFF notes the results announced by the Department of Basic Education and decry that there is a general decline of performance across the provinces. We note the increase of the pass rate in Limpopo and few others, but while congratulations are due to those who passed and acquired Bachelor’s entry status and distinctions on various subjects, we remain concerned about the low pass mark for most of the major subjects. We express concern over the fact that fewer students wrote Matric in 2014 as compared to 2013 despite the fact that there was implementation of progression policy on 2013 Grade 11 candidates who did not pass. The 2014 generation of Matriculants were more than 1 million 10 years ago when they were in Grade 2 and the shortfall of those who could not reach Matric is of great concern. We also note with concern that Umalusi declared the exam process free and fair while Group Cheating is on the increase. This is a worrying phenomenon for education in a country infested with corruption from the top. It is also worrying that KZN, one of the worst provinces in this practice, is also one of the worst performing this year. We call on the Department to pay special attention to that province and others to find the root of the problem soonest and eradicate it. It cannot be that the standard of education in such a culturally and economically vibrant country can drop to this level. We call also on all stakeholders in the worst performing provinces to put all hands on deck in improving the standard of education in their respective provinces.

The EFF is steadfast in its belief that the ruling party is not taking the education of our children serious enough. We are cognisant of the failures of the Department to provide consistent and quality education. The fact that the curriculum has flip-flopped from one format to the other over the last 20yrs has put untold and unnecessary pressure and impediment on students and teachers to perform at their best. 20yrs into democracy and the Minister of Basic Education is still telling the nation that we will begin to see results in the future. Until the ruling party has a clear vision of education in this country and commits itself to the eradication of illiteracy and poverty, education in this country will remain sub-standard and inconsistent with the program of poverty alleviation. The dream of an open and quality education free of economic burden on the poorest is one the nation has carried for decades. As one of its cardinal points, the Freedom Charter of 1955 demands that “Education shall be free, compulsory, universal and equal for all children”. It is this wish that should have informed and guided the policies of the ruling party over the last 20yrs. Instead, learners are still subjected to inferior education for which they have to pay, or further be subjected to imperialist loan sharks such as banks and the likes of the corrupt and nepotist NSFAS. The Government In Waiting resolved in its 2014 National People’s Assembly to make the 1955 charter resolution a reality in keeping with one of our non-negotiable cardinal pillars which agitates for “Free quality education, healthcare, houses and sanitation”. The EFF will be consistent with its Founding and Elections Manifesto continue to fight for rapid and radical expansion of the post secondary education and training sphere as the most critical component of building a skilled nation for economic freedom. More universities should be built and the existing ones should quantitatively and qualitatively expand their capacity to accept more students.

We encourage all students especially those in and around the matric arena to actively seek better quality education in the footsteps of the June 16 youth. We encourage them to demand better quality teachers and a better learning environment. We encourage them to demand free education until first level tertiary training. We encourage them to demand more universities. We encourage them to continue the struggle of increasing the content of indigenous languages. All of these things which should have formed part of a democratic South African Education system by now. The EFF supports these demands in keeping with our founding documents and our election manifesto. We will through various platforms, including Parliament raise the issue of the low pass mark because students who pass with a low percentage do not know the majority of the content they were taught and cannot be fully prepared for post secondary training.

We salute all the parents and communities who encouraged and guided the learners through the difficult time of exams. We call on more role-models to gather around our education system and exact change through support and ‘concomitant action’ of protest if necessary. The struggle for better education is too important and precious to leave in the hands of this corrupt and uncaring government. Salute!

ISSUED BY THE ECONOMIC FREEDOM FIGHTERS

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