The matric pass rate is expected to break through the 80% threshold, an increase from the 2018 pass rate which stood at 78.2%.
The 2019 matric results will be released on Tuesday, January 7, 2020.
City Press reports that according to sources within the department of basic education, experts in the field and analysts, the improved pass rate can be attributed to a developing Curriculum Assessment Policy Statement, schooling during holidays and a noticeable development in infrastructure and in the support material for pupils and teachers.
The publication further reported that the Free State province took the lead in the 2019 matric results with Gauteng at the second spot and the third and fourth positions held by the North West and the Western Cape respectively.
An educational expert, Professor Mary Metcalfe, was quoted as saying the matric pass rate had been steadily improving over the past 10 years at an average increase of 1.6% a year.
It was reported that for the first time, the performance of the poorest schools in South Africa had surpassed that of former model C schools.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance (DA) has stated that though it anticipated improved matric results in the Eastern Cape, the party would closely monitor the drop-out rate of pupils.
Eastern Cape MEC for education Yusuf Cassim, a DA MPL, said: “We are hoping for an increased pass rate and would also like to see an increase in the bachelor’s pass rate – which can lead to a tertiary degree or diploma.
“The DA will, however, be keeping a close eye on the high drop-out and low learner-retention rates in the province – especially in poor rural communities.
“In 2018, the Eastern Cape pass rate broke through the 70% threshold, but this wasn’t a true reflection of the results.
“Of the 148,346 learners in grade 10 in 2016, only 65,733 (44.3%) wrote the NSC in 2018 of which 46,393 passed.
“In order to curb this scourge, schools must not only receive incentives for better matric results, incentives must also be provided for improved learner-retention rates as is done in the Western Cape.
“It seems that the Eastern Cape department of education would rather encourage a high drop-out rate in order to bolster the final pass rate.”