2018 matric pass rate climbs to 78.2%

 ·3 Jan 2019

The Department of Education has released the overall matric pass rate figures for the class of 2018, announcing that the country’s overall pass was 78.2% – 3.1 percentage points higher  than 2017.

Education minister Angie Motshekga delivered the results for the National Senior Certificate, noting that over 800,000 learners registered for the exams, including 625,000 full-time learners, and approximately 176,000 part-time candidates.

Of these candidates, approximately 512,700 full-time candidates, and 117,660 part-time candidates actually wrote all seven subjects of the 2018 NSC examinations.

The 2018 cohort was the first group to be examined in 12 new subjects, including South African Sign Language, as well as a host of technology subjects, she said.

According to Motshekga the pass rate is only one of the measures the government uses to assess the status of education in the country. The aim, she said, is for learners to pass with entrance into bachelors courses, which is at 50%.

Despite the “pass at 30%” narrative that exists, 50% is the target, she said.

Of the learners that sat the exams, 33.6% secured a bachelor’s pass – 172,043 learners. 141,700 passed with diploma access, and 86,790 with Higher Certificate passes.

2018 saw a record number of progressed learners sit for the exams, with Motshekga noting that this was a positive step, as it keeps struggling learners in the system, preventing them from dropping out.

With extra support, a large portion of these learners passed the 2018 exams (with Gauteng showing the greatest success with over 70% of progressed learners passing). Overall, 60.2% of 33,412 progressed learners passed the exams.

The national average with progressed learners excluded is 79.4%.

Provincially, of the top 10 best performing districts, eight were from Gauteng, with two from the Free State. Gauteng was also the top-performing province.

These are the provincial results (including progressed learners).

  1. Gauteng – 87.9%
  2. Free State – 87.5%
  3. Western Cape – 81.5%
  4. North West – 81.1%
  5. Mpumalanga – 79.0%
  6. KwaZulu Natal – 76.2%
  7. Northern Cape – 73.3%
  8. Eastern Cape – 70.6%
  9. Limpopo – 69.4%

Read: The truth about South Africa’s ‘misleading’ matric pass rates

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