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South Africa’s latest matric pass rate – 8%

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The Education Department’s decision to allow progressed matric learners to write their exams over two years has failed, according to a report by The Sunday Times.

Of the 78,363 pupils who wrote their exams using this “opportunity”, just 6,320 passed – equating to a dismal 8% pass rate.

Of these students, only 260 attained Bachelor’s passes.

Education experts have blamed these poor results on a lack of support provided to these learners by schools and provincial education departments.

The new “multiple examination opportunity” allows learners who failed Grade 11 more than once to write some Matric papers in November and the others in June.

It is offered to students who fail at least three of their subjects in their preparation exams.

These students cannot have been absent for more than 20 days without a valid reason, and must have completed all of their assessment requirements.

However, education minister Angie Motshekga said in March that this system will be scrapped from 2020 onwards because some schools were actively encouraging their learners to use the multiple examination opportunity rather than writing all of their Matric exams with the rest of South African learners.

“Setting up pupils for failure”
UKZN Education department professor Labby Ramrathan told The Sunday Times that the multiple examination opportunity was nothing more than a “cosmetic intervention”.

“It is setting up pupils for failure. False hope through forced progression to these pupils impacts negatively on their self-esteem, especially when they fail despite the concessions given to them,” said Ramrathan.

He added that the system does not address the underlying problems these learners face.

“Lowering the workload for writing a full set of exam papers by progressed pupils is an incorrect assumption. They have conceptual difficulties in knowing and understanding the subject content and therefore even writing one paper at a time will not make any material difference to the pass rate.”

Professor Felix Maringe, head of the School of Education at Wits University, agreed that the Department of Education was addressing the wrong issues.

“Doing fewer subjects gives progressed learners more time and enhances their chances of achieving decent grades. But the fact that this does not happen simply means the strategy represents a tragic misdiagnosis of pupils’ difficulties.”

Basic Education Department spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga commended those learners who passed through this option.

“A total of 26,442 learners who failed grade 11 in 2017 were progressed and finally obtained the NSC. This is confirmation that progressed learners with the appropriate support can succeed.”

“The notion that these learners are being set up for failure is furthest from the truth.”

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N2 Kei Cuttings bus accident leaves 27 dead

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At least 27 people have been killed in a bus accident on the N2 at Kei Cuttings between East London and Butterworth in the Eastern Cape on Monday afternoon.

The death toll has been revised from earlier reports which indicated that 10 people have died.

Eastern Cape transport department spokesperson, Unathi Binqose, says the number of the deaths could increase as more people were still trapped inside the wrecked bus.

A large number of search and rescue personnel, traffic officers, firefighters and paramedics are on the scene.

Binqose said the death toll is likely to increase as search and rescue personnel plan to flip the bus over to see whether more people are trapped underneath.

The accident took place on the notorious section of the N2, known as the Kei Cuttings, north of the Kei River, which is known for its perilous twists and turns.

Binqose said the driver of the bus is among those who died.

The driver is believed to have lost control of the long-distance passenger bus before it plunged 200 metres down a steep embankment.

Read | 13 killed in KZN horror truck and minibus taxi crash

“He lost control just before he could cross the river on the last curve,” said Binqose.

Chief director of clinical support services for the health department, Kidwell Matshotyana, told TellitallSA that 22 people were stable and did not want to go to hospital.

“In terms of the injured people, we have five patients admitted at Frere Hospital and one at Life St Dominic’s Private Hospital [both in East London],” he said.

The department will arrange transport for the 22 people, who don’t want to go to hospital, to the nearest town. They will be given accommodation.

The bus is understood to have been transporting passengers from Cape Town.

Hospitals and emergency services in the area and further afield were offering help with triaging patients.

He said the police had the grim task of going through the luggage to find identity documents, in order to begin informing the next of kin of the tragedy.

The department would also work with the bus company to establish a contact centre for worried families checking up on people who were on the bus, and those details would be announced later.

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Skeem Saam’s Koko Mantsha death dismissed as fake news

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Koko Mantsha, the popular Skeem Saam character acto, real name, Lydia Mokgokoloshi is not dead.

Social media is awash with news of her death which seems to have been fuelled by fake news sites aiming to profit from unsuspecting lovers of the 80 year-old veteran actress.

Lydia Mokgokoloshi, has appeared in many television shows including Muvhango and Bophelo ke semphego.

Mokgokoloshi was born on 27 September 1939, in Polokwane, Polokwane Local Municipality, Capricorn District Municipality, Limpopo.

She is most famous for acting as Koko Mantsha the grandmother of Katlego Pietersen (Patrick Seleka) in the soap, Skeem Saam.

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Watch: Thulani Dlomo an alleged ‘Zuma spy’, hands himself in

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Thulani dlomo

Thulani Dlomo, the axed former SSA top spy and former SA ambassador to Japan has handed himself over to police on Friday.

Dlomo’s lawyer Philani Shangase said that he handed himself over at his own will at the Durban Central Police station on Friday.

He said Dlomo was not arrested but wanted to clear his name following media reports.

Dlomo was being interviewed by police officers at 17h00 on Friday.

“He has denied all wrong doing,” Shangase said.

Dlomo was suspected to be one of the instigators of the unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

This is a developing story.

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