The Department of Basic Education has announced that matric exam results will no longer be published on media platforms, in line with the recently introduced Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA).
In a statement, the department said that publishing personal information online would be a contravention of the Act. It confirmed that matric results are still scheduled to release on 21 January 2022 and that results would still be available from schools.
Historically, the matric results have been made widely available with students identified through their ID numbers.
“In order to comply with the provisions of the POPIA, the usual practice of publishing the National Senior Certificate (NSC) results on public platforms (media platforms) will not occur for 2021,” it said.
“As was also the practice in previous years, all learners will be required to obtain their statement of results from the schools they attended. In this way, every learner’s personal information with regards to the outcome of their National Senior Certificate exam will be protected.”
Education experts have already warned that the difficult circumstances faced by matriculants are likely to result in a drop in marks. In 2020, the overall matric pass rate was 76.2%, substantially lower than the previous year’s 81.3%. It was also worse than 78.2% in 2018.
Speaking to Afrikaans newspaper Rapport, Basil Manuel, managing director of education union Naptosa, said that it was highly unlikely that 2021’s matric pass rate would be better than 2020, and that the best to hope for was a similar set of results.
He highlighted many of the same factors as Mweli which led to the 2021 cohort being put at a distinct disadvantage compared to previous years.
A total of 733,746 full-time students registered to write the 2021 NSC examination, the largest full-time cohort over the last few years. A total of 123,487 more full-time candidates and 46,942 part-time candidates registered to write the examination.
Of the candidates who registered for the examination, 700,604 wrote the examination, which reflects the lowest percentage of “no shows” (4.5%), over the last few years.
The national matric results for learners in public schools are expected to be announced on 20 January 2021 by Basic education minister Angie Motshekga, with individual results to be made available online at schools and electronically on 21 January 2021.