Jan 4, 2019The South African Communist Party (SACP) in the Eastern Cape on Friday said that it welcomes the 2018 National Senior Certificate results announced by the Minister of Basic Education on Thursday.”The SACP in the Eastern Cape applauds the improvement of 5.6% achieved by the class of 2018, which has seen the province achieving 70.6% from 65% achieved in 2017,” said SACP Eastern Cape Provincial Spokesperson, Siyabonga Mdodi.”We wish to salute the learners who worked hard under challenging realities to achieve the 70.6% pass rate. It is noteworthy that this improvement of is the third year in a row, which is highly appreciable.”Mdodi said that this achievement came as results of noticeable efforts by a range of stakeholders in the education fraternity from the late MEC Mandla Makupula, the incumbent MEC Mlungisi Mvoko, Departmental Officials, Teachers, Unions, Parents, communities, SGB’s and most importantly learners.”The improvement depicts results of the three-year turnaround plan and a work that has been consolidated over the period.”As the SACP, we wish to salute the late MEC Mandla Makupula for his efforts working with his collective in the department. His passion and dedication for transforming the education of the working class children is yielding positive results,” Mdodi added.”He has laid a solid foundation in improving education in the province, which we should join hands in consolidating. In the memory of MEC Mandla Makupula, we are calling upon all formations and communities to take keen interest in education and not only focus on the announcement of the matric results. It is important that henceforth, the province sustain the upward trajectory.”We believe that a lot more still needs to be done to improve the standard and the outcomes in our Basic Education as a whole. We believe that our focus should not be confined to the final Matric Examinations outcomes, but to the Basic Education System in its entirety and avoid the artificial competition between Schools, Districts and Provinces.”‘Competition between Districts to produce best Matric results diverts attention’Mdodi said that the SACP in the Eastern Cape believes that focus on the competition between Districts and Provinces diverts attention from core issues, which warrants attention throughout the year.”We hold that all stakeholders should receive a comprehensive account of an entire cohort which started schooling in a particular year at the end of each academic year. These reports should depict the number of learners who have started schooling, the number that has progressed to Secondary school phase, as well as the number that has sat for the final Matric Examinations from the very same cohort,” he described.”It should be a cause for concern that 1 002 500 learners registered for Grade 1 in 2007 and only 51% (512 000) wrote matric (fulltime) in 2018 and that only 40% (400 761) passed matric.”We are firm in our view that Government should do more in improving the conditions of schools in the rural areas and townships.”Those schools should be turned around from being mere classrooms into being centres of excellence with all the necessary facilities (laboratories, libraries, sport facilities, etc.) to harness success. This should be part of deliberate interventions towards undermining the narrative of ‘resourced areas’ and schools having all the resources and infrastructure while their counterparts on the country are disadvantaged by the very same system.”He said that the SACP is of a strong view that the Post Provisioning Norms (PPN) should be reviewed, as they are but one disadvantageous factor to the children of the working class.’SACP Eastern Cape says education department should focus on teaching and learning'”The policy is the main cause of the shortages of educators and the closure of schools, which results to children traveling long distances and having less time to study outside the classroom.”It is our considered view that the Department of Education should focus on its core mandate which is teaching and learning. It should not be overloaded with other responsibilities which require large procurements,” Mdodi added.”These additional responsibilities have corrupted the department and invited some greedy elements to target certain individuals in the guise of acting in the best interests of education, whilst they are chasing tenders.”The responsibilities such as school nutrition, infrastructure and procurement of school furniture should be allocated to the relevant sister Departments – an exercise which will allow the Department of Education to focus on education. We are calling for the detenderisation of the state in the interest of job creation and building capacity for a developmental state we seeking to build.”We reiterate our long-held view that children of all public representatives and public officials should attend public schools with reference to those schools within quintile 1 -3, in the townships and rural areas.”Follow more RNEWS articles, subscribe to our YouTube channel and for breaking news LIKE us on Facebook.