Causes of high failure rate of the 2003 to 2007 grade 12 learners in the North West secondary school (central region)
Mogobye, Lolly Rebeccah
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This study investigated the causes of high failure rate of the 2003 to 2007 Grade 12 learners in the North West secondary schools (Central Region). The improvement of grade 12 results, particularly in disadvantaged secondary schools of the North West Province, is a burning issue which needs to be addressed with urgency. This study attempts to investigate factors contributing towards the causes of high failure rate of the Grade 12 learners. According to the researcher's opinion, the high failure rate of Grade 12 learners is a cause for a serious concern for every educator, school manager, Iearner, parent, politician and relevant stakeholders. According to the findings from the literature review, the high failure rate is caused by, inter alia, inadequate and/or lack of resources, over-crowded classrooms, inexperienced and under-qualified educators, the Post Provisioning Model, insufficient departmental support, poor infra-structure, poor socio-economic background of learners, poor parental involvement in learners' academic work, inconducive environment for both learning and teaching at most schools and inadequate role played by most educators, departmental officials (such as Subject Advisors and Institutional Curriculum Support Coordinators) and learners. Under normal circumstances, one expects that the researched schools would probably have achieved beyond 70% as the pass rate benchmark in the final Grade 12 examinations. However, in most schools in the disadvantaged areas, this is not the case. As indicated in the afore-mentioned statements, and the complexity of the study in consultation with variables employed, the researcher opted to use both qualitative and quantitative research designs with the aim to attempt to obtain consistency, validity and reliability of the research results. The analyses of the results reveal that most schools in the disadvantaged areas still experience a poor culture of teaching and learning. This is evident by the low Grade 12 final results in the North West Province, particularly in Central Region. The study revealed that the factors impacting on the performance of learners at schools are subjected to a complexity of integrated activities. Apparently an issue of concern is lack of passion that is expected from most educators working at secondary schools. It could be concluded from many responses that the high failure rate of the Grade 12 learners is directly linked to poor teaching which may be the result of poor qualifications, Jack of discipline, poor support systems, lack of resources, and most importantly, lack of commitment and dedication required to ensure a professional approach towards teaching and good classroom management. The researcher concluded that certain serious measures must have to be adopted to ameliorate this sorry state of affairs. These included, inter alia, sufficient qualified and competent educators; the Department of Education's intervention to assist the poor performing schools; reduction of over-crowded classrooms; regular visit by Subject Advisors to schools; parents' involvement in their children's school-work; implementation of stringent discipline; and so forth.
- Education