The Limpopo government plans to build 17 new schools across the province during the next two financial year.
Limpopo Premier, Chupu Mathabatha, revealed this during his State of the Province Adsress (Sopa) on Thursday.
Shedding light on the progress made in improving education, Mathabatha said the province has improved matric result performance from 26.8% Bachelor Passes to 29.1% in 2020.
He added that the province has registered performance increase in seven of the 10 gateway subjects. The premier also promised that 45 new classrooms will be built for Grade R.
“During the next two financial years, we will provide additional 40 schools with adequate water infrastructure. We will provide 100 additional schools with proper sanitation facilities. We will build 17 brand new schools across the province” Mathabatha says.
He has also announced that preparations are underway to roll-out e-learning in the province, which he said MEC for Education, Polly Boshielo, will give details on.
The Democratic Allience (DA) In the province was not impressed with the Premier’s announcement.
The party says the Premier has reneged on his previously promise of building 40 schools with adequate water infrastructure over two years.
“He failed to shed any light on plans to address the infrastructure backlog in the Education Department that amounts to over R20 billion in infrastructure and maintenance backlog,” says DA Limpopo Provincial leader, Jacques Smalle.
Smalle says the Education MEC’s pledge to Boshielo eradicate pit toilets in 2020 has also failed dismally.
Matimba Calvin Ngobeni from the deep rural Potulula area, in the Vhembe District of Limpopo, has beaten the odds exacerbated by novel COVID-19 pandemic and managed to obtain a Bachelor’s Pass.
The 20-year-old Mulima Secondary School learner, which is situated Sio Likhade Village, says doing matric amid COVID-19 was difficult and studying at home because of lockdown exacerbated the situation.
“I am overwhelmed, I don’t even know what to say. The secret to success is hard work,” Ngobeni said.
Ngobeni plans to study law this year.
He calls on the current matriculants to maintain the trend, endure hardship, work hard and study at all times. “I wish them the best,” he adds.
Limpopo province has clinched the 7th spot in this year’s matric results, with an overall pass rate of 68.2%. This was a decline of 5%.
Top 3 performing districts in the province are Waterberg with 77.5% pass followed by Vhembe East with 77.1% and Vhembe West with 72.7%
The MEC for Education in the province, Polly Boshielo, has congratulated the performance by the matric class of 2020, given the difficult conditions that were imposed by the coronavirus.
Boshielo says the department will also focus on improving support for Grade R to 10 to ensure that the learners are able to obtain foundational competencies such as reading, writing and enumerating.
Encouraging the Matric Class of 2020, Limpopo Premier Stan Chupu Mathabatha says the province has always been focused on producing quality passes and that has been obtained by the 2020 class.
“While the overall performance has declined, I am very happy to say that the percentage of our bachelor passes has increased. We have moved from 26.8% bachelor pass in 2019 to 29.1% in 2020” Mathabatha says.
Announcing the overall 2020 matric pass rate on Monday, the Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said, for the past 10 years the National Senior Certificate (NSC) pass rate have consistently been improving from 60% in 2009 to above 70% in recent years.
She says the class of 2020 must be commended for maintaining the trend, with an overall pass rate of 76. 2 %.
Though this is a decline of 5% from the pass record of 81.3% achieved by the class of 2019, Motshekga says quality passes were achieved by the 2020 class.
“The high quality passes we have achieved this year, especially the number of Bachelor and Diploma passes, the overall pass mark, and the passes with distinctions, even in critical subjects, are the hallmark of the performance of the class of 2020” Motshekga says.
The Minister added that had it not been for the COVID-19 the class of 2020 could have been the best performers since the inception of the National Senior Certificate.
Limpopo Premier Stanley Mathabatha and Health MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba, have on Friday launched the province’s COVID-19 vaccine roll-out programme at Mankweng Hospital, in the Capricorn District.
This follows the arrival of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the country on Tuesday, with President Cyril Ramaphosa, Health Minister Dr Zwelini Mkhize marking the official start of the vaccination programme in the country on Wednesday.
They joined healthcare workers at the Khayelitsha District Hospital where they were the first to receive the COVID-19 jab.
Mathabatha has described the launch as the last push towards the fight of the COVID-19, which he says will give birth to a new normal.
Mathabatha says it is crucial for health workers to be vaccinated in the first phase to save lives.
Dr Ramathuba says they will be vaccinating health workers in Mankweng Hospital throughout the weekend
“We are going to push and make sure that by the end of the week, all those vaccines that have been allocated, they are finished, and we will be waiting for the second batch” she says.
Limpopo currently has 61 260 COVID-19 cases and 1 785. It is hoped the vaccine will help South Africa, with the most cases and deaths on the continent, win the battle against the pandemic.