An investigation into the causes of the high failure rate in std. 10 Xhosa in the Transkei Senior Secondary Schools between 1981 and 1985.
This study1 which followed immediately after a sub-dissertation entitled "An investigation into the problems and pitfalls inherent in the teaching and learning of Xhosa in the .Senior Secondary schools of Transkei" and which was part of the re~earcher's Bachelor of Education academic study programme, was designed to probe deeper into the problems discoverd earlier in the study mentioned above, and to further investigate the root causes of the high rate of failure in Xhosa which has become a source of worry to the Transkei Education Department today. To gather all the data needed during investigation, use of questions and intervi•ews was made. Questionnaires were sent to Std 10 pupils, Std 10 teachers, Std 10 External Examiners and libraries. Files of the Xhosa Subject Commit.tee, the Xhosa Action Committee, the Nguni and Sesotho Language Board and the Transkei Examinations Board were consulted with a view to extracting information that would reveal records pertaining to high failure rate in Xhosa. After observing for several years, as a teacher and examiner of Xhosa language, the performance of Std 10 pupils writing Xhosa, the researcher came tot.he conclusion that there was indeed high failure rate in Xhosa. The period 1981 to 1985 became the focus of his attention because it was the worst in the history of the Transkei Std 10 results in Xhosa. Records of the Transkei Examinations Board reflected that the mean average during that period was only 46'l. (See· Table 1.1). The poor results also became the source of worry to the Department of Education which took steps to remedy the situation by forming a special Committee known as the Xhosa Action Committee which was given the task of devising ways and means of improving the Std 10 Xhosa results as from 1985. The Department further sent out circulars to all schools in Transkei threatening to take disciplinary measures against Std 10 Xhosa teachers whose candidates had failed to .secure less than 50% aggregate in the external examinations.