Newspaper clipping – iol on-line – 17 May 2010

Creecy offers lifeline for struggling matrics

Grade 12 students at under-performing high schools will qualify for free extra lessons throughout their mid-year break, the Gauteng Education Department announced on Monday.

The programme targets students from 276 schools across the province that achieved a 70 percent or less matric pass rate last year, Education MEC Barbara Creecy said in a statement.

The extra lessons would concentrate on subjects that produced the most matric failures in 2009, such as maths, accounting, physical science, life sciences and English as an additional language.
“It is clear that if we want to enable a greater number of learners to have further educational and career opportunities, we need to focus on these 276 schools and to provide assistance to learners in these schools in these subjects,” Creecy said.

Research conducted by the department in January found that out of 30 397 pupils who failed matric in 2009, two out of three came from the schools targeted by the programme. All 276 schools achieved a less than 70 percent matric pass rate in 2009.

The free classes would take place on Saturday mornings at 96 sites around the province and would be held throughout the June/July break and in the September holidays, Creecy said.

Extra lessons would also be provided for students in grades 10 and 11.
“Sustaining improvement in matric performance means that we also need to provide additional support to learners in the same schools who are currently in grades 10 and 11,” she said.
“Accordingly, we are also offering learners in these 276 schools standardized programme of Saturday and vacation classes for learners in grades 10 and 11. These classes will generally be school-based and cover three subjects, namely maths, science and accountancy.”

The programme would run for four years in an attempt to improve the pass rate at under-performing schools. - Sapa