Real matric pass rate in South Africa is 43.7%

 ·6 Jan 2016
School Exam Paper

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has questioned the pass rate of the matric class of 2015, as announced by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, on Tuesday.

The minister announced a pass rate of 70.7% down from 75.8% achieved in 2014, however the EFF’s Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, said that the real pass rate is 43.7%.

“What the minister does not tell the nation is that in reality her pass rate is actually 43.7%, if we take into consideration that in 2004 there were 1 303 016 learners who registered for Grade 1. Yet, only 801,688 of them sat for matric exams. It means more than 500,000 learners are lost and cannot be accounted for.

“This is much so this year than any other taken into consideration the policy of progressing the failing learners to sit for the NSC exam. This is a whole generation of people the country has condemned to precariousness,” Ndlozi said.

Motshekga said that if the “progressed learners” had not been added to the total, the pass rate would have been 74%. These were pupils who failed Grade 11 twice and were promoted to Grade 12 without meeting the passing criteria.

“The EFF will never celebrate that the total number of leaners who sat for exams, 65 671 were progressed leaners. This is not an achievement at all, because an efficient system that takes care of leaners should in any way not only take care of those who are progressed, but also the more than 500 000 that got lost from the system,” the EFF spokesperson said.

“The calculation of matric outcomes and pass rate should always tell the full story which must start from Grade 1 of enrolment to Grade 12. Not doing so gives a false picture of our performance as a country,” Ndlozi said.

Minister Motshekga said a total number of candidates who registered for the November 2015 NSC examinations was 799,306, comprising 667,925 full time candidates and 131 381 part time candidates.

“This is 110 thousand candidates more than those enrolled for the 2014 NSC examinations.”

The 70.7% pass rate represents 455,825 candidates who have passed the 2015 NSC Examinations, the largest in history.

“This represents an increase of 51,952 candidates from those who passed in 2014.  The national pass rate without progressed learners would have been 74.1%. Well done to the Class of 2015,” said Motshekga.

Increase in Bachelor passes

The minister also said there was an increase in the number of learners qualifying for admission to Bachelor degrees from 150,737 in 2014 to 166,263 in 2015.

The performance in Mathematics and Physical Science, which are gateway subjects, has also shown an increase in the number of passes, although the pass percentage in these subjects has decreased.

The number of learners passing Mathematics has increased from 120,523 in 2014 to 129,481 in 2015; while the number of learners passing Physical Science has increased from 103,348 in 2014 to 113 121 in 2015.

“In 2015 there were 3,711 more distinctions achieved by learners than in 2014.  In 2014, 157,913 distinctions were achieved, whereas in 2015 161,624 distinctions were achieved.

“In the 12 key subjects (including Mathematics, Physical Science, Accounting, among others) the total number of distinctions increased from 59,981 in 2014 to 63,348 in 2015,” said Minister Motshekga.

Western Cap top achiever

Western Cape became the overall top achiever with a pass rate of 84.7%, up from 82.2% in 2014, showing an improvement of 2.5%.  Western Cape had 53,721 candidates in total, out of which 22,739 are Bachelor passes.

The province was followed by Gauteng with 84.2%.

“We need to congratulate Gauteng for producing the largest number of Bachelor passes at 38,760.  Gauteng had 108,442 candidates in total.  Well done to MEC Lesufi and his team,” said the Minister.

The third on the list was Free State with 81.6%

Minister Motshekga said the department must pay particular attention to KZN, Limpopo and Eastern Cape if it wants to improve the overall NSC national picture.

“If we don’t do this, our basic education outputs and outcomes may not improve to the extent necessary,” said the Minister.

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