Class of 2019 makes history with highest pass rate ever in SA

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga addresses the top 30 top matric achievers and their parents at a breakfast hosted by Vodacom in Midrand, 7 January 2020. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

The eagerly awaited results were announced by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga last night.

The national matric pass rate for 2019 is 81.3%, up from 78.2% in the previous year, and the highest it has ever been.

The eagerly awaited results were announced by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga last night.

This 3.1% increase in the pass rate continued the upward trend experienced since 2016, after there had been a slight hiccup in 2014 (a 2.4 percentage point decline) and 2015 (a 5 percentage point decline).

In the preceding years, the country had experienced consistent increases in results since 2008, when the pass rate stood at a paltry 62.5%.

The education system had also undergone significant changes, with the introduction of the Curriculum Assessment Policy Statements (Caps) in 2012, as a replacement for Outcomes Based Education, introduced in 1997.

Motshekga once again took time to address criticism that some pupils were allowed to pass with 30%, which she said has always been a misunderstanding.

It is not enough to obtain a National Senior Certificate, though some pupils may get an endorsed pass overall if they fail one or more of their subjects with 30% or more, while maintaining an overall passing percentage of 40% or more.

Motshekga said there were only 105 of such endorsed passes, which amounted to a negligible 0.02%.

“Nearly 65% passed with bachelors and diploma access and are eligible to enter institutions of higher learning.”

She also announced the leading districts in each province and their respective pass rates: In the Eastern Cape it was Nelson Mandela Bay with 81.4%.

In the Free State, the leading district was Fezile Dabi with 90.3% and in Gauteng, it was Tshwane South with 93.3%.

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