Impressive Free State matric results continue to validate the DWSD model

Published: Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Education Community DevelopmentCurrent AffairsWelfare

Kagiso Trust congratulates the Free State’s class of 2019 for yet another outstanding achievement which saw the province attaining the best pass rate in the 2019 National Senior Certificate academic year.  The 2019 pass rate of 88,4% has seen the Free State get the top spot– and means the province has now managed to stay at the top of the results consistently. 

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Key to the success of the Free State province has been the consistency of schools in the Thabo Mofutsanyana, Fezile Dabi and Motheo districts.

For many students, the annual announcement of the national matric results brings with it a blend of gratification and sheer relief - for it is, ultimately, the culmination of an exacting 12-year journey. 
The advancement of every Grade 12 class can be influenced by a manifold of unfavourable factors beyond its control. 

Yet, it is said we only become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day. There can be no better testimony to this than the Free State province, which has raised the interprovincial stakes with its impressive matric results over the past six years. 

This is attributable to the understanding that the education system can only improve when the challenges at hand are looked at holistically.

Kagiso Trust, one of the country’s leading development agencies, introduced its Beyers Naudé Schools Development Programme(BNSDP) through a partnership with the Free State Department of Education. From 2007; 166 schools in the Thabo Mofutsanyana district were in-phased to participate in the Programme. The intervention over the years was shaped into a Whole School Development model aimed to enhance not only the matric results in the province but influence the schooling system in its entirety from the District to the schooling community. This holistic approach ensures the commitment and participation of all stakeholders and contributes to improved learner performance. 

Fundamentally, if educators are empowered and capacitated through professional development and training, and the school environment is improved through investing in infrastructure, curriculum development, and leadership support, and the district office is strengthened to better support the schools, then there will be a noteworthy improvement in learner performance that is maintainable. 

Having consolidated the intervention in the Thabo Mofutsanyana district in 2016, the success of the programme in the district opened doors to influence a greater part of the Free State province. A partnership between Kagiso Trust, the Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation, FirstRand Foundation and the Department of Education formed the Kagiso Shanduka Trust (KST). This collaboration has seen 240 participating schools in the Fezile Dabi and Motheo districts.

In 2017 and 2018, Fezile Dabi was the country’s best performing district with a pass rate of 90.2% and 92% respectively, with Thabo Mofutsanyana achieving second position in the country with a 90.1% pass rate in 2017. The continued performance of these districts and the province’s impressive pass rate year-on-year is testament that the model is paying dividends. Kagiso Trust’s legacy initiative, which includes rewarding and incentivising schools for exceptional performance, has kept schools motivated and excelling.

Pleasingly, other provinces and national government have also noted the impact made by the programme – with the Limpopo department of education now partnering with Kagiso Trust to launch the programme in the Sekhukhune district, which is one of many in the province in need of infrastructure. 

Basic Education minister, Angie Motshekga has also paid credit to the programme, saying, “Kagiso Trust has developed an exciting and certainly innovative schools improvement programme that supports and helps schools in addressing obstacles to increased performance.

“Government alone cannot address the legacy and infrastructure backlogs we’ve inherited. It is against this backdrop that we seek collaborations and partnerships such as the [BNSDP]… We say ‘Thank you’ to Kagiso Trust for the splendid job they’ve done for school children, especially in rural communities.”

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