A school implicated in a massive group copying scandal in 2014 was one of 12 in SA to record a zero percent pass rate in last year’s matric exams.
None of the 18 pupils at Mpikayizekanye Secondary in rural KwaMbono, about 10km from Tugela Ferry in KwaZulu-Natal, passed.
The school is one of nine in KZN that had a zero pass rate; the three others are in Limpopo. A total of 85 schools countrywide had pass rates between zero and 19.9%, down from 104 in 2017.
A total of 167 pupils at Mpikayizekanye were implicated in group copying in 2014 and initial investigations found 107 pupils were implicated in cheating in accounting, 119 in English, 15 in life sciences, and 108 each in maths, business studies and economics.
Meanwhile, the department of basic education has attributed last year’s improved matric pass rate of 78.2% to the quality tuition pupils received during holidays.
Basic education director-general Mathanzima Mweli, who made more than 300 visits to districts in all nine provinces last year, said he saw a huge investment made by Gauteng in special camps for pupils. “I visited more than 50 special camps in Gauteng and the focus has been on supporting struggling learners. Provinces that invest in supporting struggling learners … automatically those provinces’ [pass rates] go up.”
Gauteng emerged as the country’s top performer after notching up an 87.9% pass rate, followed by the Free State with 87.5%.