Lesufi: It’s unfair to compare private, state-owned schools

MEC Panyaza Lesufi says government can learn a few things from private schooling.

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG/CAPE TOWN - The Gauteng Education Department says it's unfair to compare private and state-owned schools, as many external factors affect learner performance.

Provincial Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi was responding to comments made by a number of principals from private schools who say the divide between private and state-owned schools needs to be bridged.

Lesufi says factors such as the geographic placement of schools in different provinces and available resources greatly affect how each body functions.

Lesufi says while private and government schools cannot be compared, government can learn a few things from private schooling.

“The quality of their educators and planning. Their planning is spot on, they know by when what must be done and what must be concluded.”

Lesufi says it’s important to know that the historical exclusion in the previous schooling system still has an impact now.

“People from the rural areas believe that quality education is in the townships. And we have people coming from other African continents that believe that quality education is in South Africa or Gauteng in particular.”

The Independent Examinations Board (IEB) had an overall pass rate of 98.67%.

Meanwhile, education rights group Equal Education says the IEB's high pass rate must be seen in context.

The group's Leanne Jansen-Thomas says private school learners face far less adversity in their learning environments than the thousands of learners from poorer backgrounds who attend public schools.

“The children who are from affluent families are able to go to high-quality early childhood development centres and are receiving excellent primary schooling, which gives them a really good foundation to the higher grades and for when they reach matric.”

The national matric results are expected to be released next Wednesday.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)