Western Cape Education on Mathematics Excellence Awards

Gugulethu and Phillippi schools scoop Mathematics Excellence Awards

On Tuesday evening, 26th February, the WCED hosted the Annual LITNUM awards to acknowledge and celebrate the top achievers in the systemic tests of 2018 in the Province. My hearty congratulations go to all schools that won awards.

I am especially pleased that, in the category of Excellence in Academic Performance in Mathematics: Grades 3 and 6, all three top positions were won by schools from previously disadvantaged communities.

Sonwabo Primary School also came in fifth place under the category ‘Overall Improvement in Academic Performance: Grades 3 and 6’.

I am extremely proud of the achievements of all three schools and all the other schools that saw improvements in their results last year. Congratulations to the Principals and their teams. Their determination and hard work has paid off with the real winners being the learners at the school.

One of our main priorities is to close the gap between our less advantaged and more advantaged schools. We want to provide quality education for EVERY child, in EVERY classroom, in EVERY school.

These results show me that we are making progress.

We all know that a good education is essential to grow the economy. It is also essential to reduce the extremely high youth unemployment rate that we face in South Africa. And it goes without saying that it provides people with a far greater choice of opportunities in life.

It is especially important that we have more learners who take pure mathematics and pass at 50% or more, as that is required for many of the qualifications that we need to fill the skills gaps in our economy.

As a result of our history, there still remain disparities between poorer and wealthier communities, within provinces, between urban and rural schools, and between provinces. One of our greatest challenges is how to provide efficient and equitable access to education.

As a department and as a DA government, we have placed a huge emphasis on improving education in our poorer communities, which is yielding results.

According to our systemic results, the gap between our previously advantaged and disadvantaged schools is closing.

While there is a disparity between no fee quintile 1 � 3 schools and Quintile 5 schools � there are, however, evident gains. Quintile 1-3 schools (township schools) are also catching up in terms of performance to Quintile 4 and 5 schools.

Various studies show that the Western Cape is showing the greatest progress in transforming education in poor communities. We are also fortunate in having excellent teachers, supported by dedicated officials. And I really want to pay tribute to these people. It is not easy being a principal or a teacher in schools that have been disadvantaged, and often still are, but we really do have dedicated people who want to help improve education in our poorest communities, and I salute them.

While there is still much work to be done before our learners, across the board, demonstrate acceptable levels of language and mathematics as benchmarked internationally, the progress made is undeniable.

I must thank all our principals, educators, SGB members and curriculum advisors who have also done us very proud and we congratulate them and their learners on their achievements.

Source: Government of South Africa