it is my singular honour to be standing
before you this morning, after a gruelling academic year. Team
education was hard at work , they did their utmost best to ensure
that when this time arrives, we are counted among the best.
Turning the tide was a mammoth task for both our learners, the
Educators and senior management team in the department.
Challenging as it was, we had no option but to pull together so
that we could achieve our common objective, to improve our
Grade 12 National Senior Certificate results. We have today
gathered under one roof with our learners of course, to give
account for all the work done.
I want to take this time and thank each one of you for being here,
you came solely to support our learners who have made us extra
proud against all odds. We had the honour to celebrate their
achievement last night in Johannesburg when the Minister of
Basic Education Mme. Angie Motshekga released the Grade 12
National Senior Certificate results. It is encouraging to see our
learners from ordinary public schools ascending to the national
stage to be recognised amongst the best. We take pride in the
work, the coaching and courage we instilled in them and we have
no doubt they will continue to shine in their academic
Programme Director, we are today gathered here to celebrate
the cohort that started school in 2011 and they were the ninth
regiment to write the National Senior Certificate (NSC)
examinations based on Curriculum and Assessment Policy
Statements (CAPS). Just like the 2021 class, they were not
spared from the harsh realities of Covid-19. This is the group that
sustained Covid-19 for two years in Grade 10 and 11. They were
subjected to a rotational arrangement to avert the spread of the
pandemic. If we talk about resilience, this is the cohort that had
the worst experience. They were subjected to a trimmed
curriculum in Grade 10 and again exposed to a revised
programme in Grade 11. Over and above the devastating
pandemic, they again had to endure load shedding as they were
preparing for the exams, during revisions at the camps and
during examination period.
Programme Director, we have been through a lot, we learned
a lot, but we remained resilient as the province despite all the
challenges we encountered. It is only resilience that was able
to lift us from below 70 percent as we marched to the desired
heights, the resilience that we were encouraged to master as we
navigate through the worst of times.
Honourable Premier, during the State of the Province Address
in 2022, you painted a picture of a resilient bird called a Phoenix,
a bird that obtains a new life by arising from the ashes of its
predecessor. In the context of your delivery, you were speaking
about the recovery path of the Province following the devastating
Covid-19 pandemic. As the department tasked with a
responsibility to breathe life, produce future leaders and
academics, we are self-correcting and surely on the upward
The State of the Province Address came a month after the
release of the 2021 National Senior Certificate results and it is
common knowledge that we were on the bottom of the list. You
called for a swift intervention through a Provincial Education
Lekgotla with all the relevant parties and stakeholders of interest.
We knew then that it cannot be business as usual, we needed to
devise means to ensure that we rise from the ashes and restore
hope. You did not only give directives honourable Premier, but
you walked the path with team education being led by Hon. Polly
Boshielo to ensure that the journey changes the narrative.
Programme Director Provincial Secretary and our
esteemed guests, it is imperative that I take you through the
intervention strategies that we employed following contributions
by experts and all education stakeholders who were with us at
the Lekgotla
The Lekgotla focused on various interventions including
amongst others;
• Holding accountability sessions with district and
circuit managers on performance of their respective
districts and circuits.
• Development of strategies to improve learner
performance across the system.
All the schools in the province had extra classes for Grade 12 on
weekends. They were either taught by expert teachers or a
continuation of what they were taught during the week. I want to
commend parents and guardians for walking with us in this
journey, your psychological and financial support cannot go
• To hold principals accountable for underperformance
in accordance with the provisions of the law.
The principals were accounting for the performance of their
respective schools, they had to set realistic targets and I am
happy to announce that most of them, have surpassed their
• To provide support to schools in implementing
promotion and progression policies.
With over 9 thousand progressed learners, we had to ensure
that they are afforded special attention
• And lastly, the implementation of focused
intervention strategy to improve learning outcomes
across the system, in particular, support to progressed
learners and other learners at risk.
Just to cite a few examples of how the poor performing districts
and schools were assisted. Our Grade 12 learners from
Sekhukhune East were taken to camps at Tivumbeni College in
Mopani for two weeks on a catch-up programme and that has
brought a huge difference. Learners who were enrolled in
Gateway subjects from various schools in the Capricorn North
District had on-site camps. Learners clubbed under one roof had
sufficient time with expert teachers. As alluded earlier on, similar
interventions were held in all the schools in the Province under
the watchful eye of educators and parents and they stayed in the
school premises for the duration of the of the exams, this has
assisted to yield positive results.
Like the Phoenix bird, we dusted ourselves, forged ahead,
implemented the resolutions and we are now on the rise. The
future of our Province is in our hands, we are indeed rising from
the ashes and our children will benefit from the selfless
Our focus and responsibility was mainly to target the poor
performing districts that contributed to the low percentage
obtained by the previous cohort. In our assessment and
reflection of the root cause of our poor performance, we
collectively agreed that we need to channel resources and
expertise to Sekhukhune East and South Districts as well as
Mopani East. These are the districts that performed below 60
percent pass rate in 2021.
The intervention demanded that enrichment camps are run in all
the 10 Education Districts. I visited some of the camps in July
last year and I was impressed with the commitment shown by
our educators and the school governing bodies. The camps are
usually staged during school recess where educators are
supposed to be spending time at home with their families, but
our educators put the interest of the learners ahead of anything,
your devotion to your work is unparalleled

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