30 December 1999

The ANC Western Cape warned that the 1999 matric results masked continued inequalities in historically disadvantaged schools. Commenting on the results ANC Western Cape Leader, Ebrahim Rasool said:

"It is very dangerous to celebrate Western Cape results without looking at the results of those students attending the historically disadvantaged schools of the former DET and DEC.

"Early indications are that the vast majority of schools which achieved a 1000% pass rate are the former model C schools located in the white community. A further pattern which became evident last year and appears to have continued, is that the rate of exemptions at the former DET and DEC schools has not shown any improvement.

"This means that the employability rate of many African and Coloured students is not very great as exemptions are required for most tertiary study which gives the student a greater chance of finding work. This trend means that a life of unemployment is a prospect mainly for the black youth of our province. The dangers of a life of gangsterism looms for many of those who have failed or who will not be able to study further.

"The ANC calls on the Western Cape department to provide detailed breakdown of results in the former Model C, DET and DEC schools. We need to look at both the pass rates as well as the number of students who have obtained exemptions. Simploy rewarding the 6 historically disadvantaged schools who have shown the greatest improvement holds the danger of obscuring the inequalities which still exist. Announcing the results Khayelitsha while students from the Cape Flats still do not make the top 20, smacks of an attempt to create a perception which does not tally with the reality.

"As the ANC we will be intensifying our adopt a school campaign by allocating MP's to work with those schools and governing bodies where the results are the poorest. We welcome the initiatives announced by Minister Asmal today and believe that specific targets should be set for the historically disadvantaged schools in our province. We will work tirelessly with the education department to increase the levels for employability of the most disadvantaged students in our province.

"Finally, I would like to congratulate all those students and teachers who worked so hard to achieve their goals. It is clear that a great deal of effort was put in. The governing bodies also deserve our congratulations for getting directly involved in the life of their schools. All of us should now commit ourselves to work hard next year to achieve greater equality in education so that many more can celebrate success."

Issued by ANC Western Cape
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Cameron Dugmore on 082 894 7553.