Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu has congratulated social grant beneficiaries who wrote their final Grade 12 examinations, amid difficult circumstances, including the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement on Monday, the department said the results on the performance of the 2022 Social Grant Beneficiaries (SGB) who wrote the 2022 NSC examination show an impressive increase in performance between the years, 2020/2021 and 2021/2022, in all provinces.
The overall increase now sits at 8.7 percentage points from 0.2 % in 2020/2021.
Minister Zulu has further extended a word of appreciation to parents, caregivers, social service practitioners, teachers, school governing bodies, and community structures who played an important role in guiding the class of 2022 to realise and achieve their dreams.
Minister Zulu called for caregivers and parents to equally support those matriculants who may not have done well or did not make it by providing them with a second chance.
“We want to take this opportunity to encourage the learners who did not pass to remain hopeful and not panic or give up on their dreams. It is during this period that families and friends should show support.
“For those whose results were not as good as expected, not to give up as many opportunities are still available for them to succeed. Information, advice, and guidance on what to do next is available and I would urge the learners to use these opportunities fully to improve their results.
“I also want to encourage the parents to be supportive to their children as parental involvement has long been identified as having a clear and positive relationship to the success of young people regarding educational performance as well as protection from alcohol and drug abuse,” Minister Zulu said.
Performance by Province
The ranking of the social grant beneficiaries performance by province sees Gauteng Province as the best performing province at 81.59%, followed by the Free State (76.19%), KwaZulu-Natal (75.73%), North West (74.19%), and Northern Cape (71.23%).
The three provinces with similar levels of performance are the Eastern Cape (68.66%), Mpumalanga (68.49%) and Western Cape (68.49%). Limpopo is the province with performance below the 60% threshold at 59.65%.
The department said that the previous year saw more female social grant beneficiary learners sitting for their NSC examination at 256 902, as compared to 191 490 males. A trend that has been observed in previous years.
The overall male pass rate was reportedly higher at 72.5% compared to the female, which is at 70.39%. This is observed in all provinces except in Gauteng, where 81.86% of females performed slightly better than their male counterparts who obtained 81.21%.
“These results prove that programmes that promote gender parity in performance, such as the Sanitary Dignity Programme, are interventions which encourage the retention of girls in school as well as their attendance and performance,” the minister said.
Minister Zulu has called on all Provinces to strengthen these interventions especially in rural and township areas.
She said that the academic performance highlights the critical role that social protection and pro-poor interventions play in addressing intergenerational poverty and child wellbeing.
“When comparing learners who were still receiving their grant (active recipients) in their matric year and those who whose grant had stopped (inactive recipients) due to their age, active social grant beneficiaries were found to have a substantially higher pass rate as compared to inactive social grant beneficiaries, with an overall pass rate of 87.20% and 75.22%, respectively,” the department highlighted.
This is observed in all provinces and is a trend that has been consistent in previous years, showing some evidence of the effects of social grants on children’s educational outcomes.
“The findings may be demonstrating that the impact of social grants is likely to be greater the longer the transfer duration, especially, if child-specific grants are kept active until the learner completes their Grade 12 education. Nonetheless, while the inactive pass rates are lower, it is essential to note that just about 75% of inactive social grant beneficiaries managed to pass their NSC examinations,” the department said.
The Minister also reminds the grant beneficiaries who applied and were accepted at tertiary institutions that they will not be means tested when applying for financial assistance with the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).
Source: South African Government News Agency