Township schools are upping the quality of their education and fast catching up with schools in the wealthier suburbs, says Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi. Picture: TIMESLIVE/NICO GOUS
Township schools are upping the quality of their education and fast catching up with schools in the wealthier suburbs, says Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi. Picture: TIMESLIVE/NICO GOUS

Gauteng is closing the performance gap between the province’s rich and affluent schools and the township schools, education MEC Panyaza Lesufi says.

He said there used to be a gap of 40%-60% between rich and poor schools in the province but as that gap has shrunk to a little less than 3%, parents who were sending their children to former Model C schools could now be tempted to return their children to cheaper and more convenient local schools.

Township schools achieved a pass rate of 89.82% in the 2019 matric exams, while the non-township schools achieved 92.61%. 

Lesufi said this is because of all the investments and strides that had been made in bettering township schools.

“All the combis and buses that were leaving the township are making a U-turn back to the township, because the quality of education has improved,” he said.

Township schools are now significantly more convenient than non-township schools as pupils are provided with free education, transport, school uniforms, food, stationery and sanitary towels, he said.

All the pupils have to focus on is their schooling, he said.

Lesufi was speaking in Randburg, where he was giving a report-back on how the province fared in the matric exams. This came after Tuesday’s announcement by basic education minister Angie Motshekga that the province had a pass rate of 87.23%.

Gauteng was the second-best performing province, after the Free State, which had a pass rate of more than 88%. 



In Gauteng, almost 44,000 of the matriculants who sat for their 2019 final exams received bachelor’s degree passes.

“Gauteng contributed the most candidates qualifying for bachelor studies in 2019, at 43,494. This is up from 41,410 bachelor’s passes in 2018. Gauteng achieved the best bachelor pass rate of all provinces. Nationally, we contributed 23.4% of all bachelor’s [degree passes] achieved,” Lesufi said.

“Gauteng is still the leading province by virtue of the size of the provincial system. This is despite the increased enrolment compared with 2018,” he said.

More than 30% of pupils (about 30,000) who wrote the exams achieved a diploma pass.

“I am encouraged by the fact that more learners who passed the National Senior Certificate exams in 2019, 74.73% of learners (73,028 of 97,717 learners), passed with a bachelor or diploma pass qualifying them to go into higher education. This is up from 73.97% in 2018,” Lesufi said.

The MEC made special mention of four Gauteng schools, at which more than 95% of the pupils who sat for the exams received bachelor’s passes. The schools are Afrikaanse Hoër Meisieskool, Hoërskool Garsfontein, Hoërskool Menlopark and Parktown Girls’ High.

Township schools that achieved a 100% pass rate are Diepsloot Secondary, Rusoord Secondary, Moditela Secondary and Prudens Secondary. All these schools received a bachelor’s pass rate of more than 60%.

“We have increased the number of schools, including township schools, that have achieved 90%-and-above pass rates. Last year 287 schools achieved above 95%, compared with 250 in 2018. In 2019, 113 schools achieved 100% compared with 108 in 2018.

“I am proud of the township schools that achieved 100%, despite the challenges they face,” said Lesufi.