Grade 12 pass rate misleading – EFF


The EFF congratulates all the learners who sat for the 2018 National Senior Certificate exams, both those who passed, and those who failed. In particular, we congratulate those who passed against the odds of poverty and the thousands under resourced schools; the children of the unemployed, domestic, farm and mine workers, security guards, truck, taxi and bus drivers, and the entire working class. We also congratulate the teachers, departmental staff and parents, without whom our children would not receive any education.

The formative years for educational development are not grade 10, 11 or 12, it is the early childhood phase and the first 7 years of schooling. Children who receive a quality education at the foundation phase are able to think critically, analyse and process information faster. They are also able to read, write, and do basic arithmetic. The reality in South Africa however, is that quality education at the foundation phase is reserved for the rich.

In 2007, 1 171 323 were enrolled in grade one, if one considers that there were only 796 543 learners enrolled to write matric exams in 2018, it means that 374 780 or 32% of learners that were in Grade 1 in 2007, have either dropped out, have failed, or went to a FET. Meaning that any overall pass rate that is above 78% is misleading, and unable to account for the 374 780 other pupils that should have written matric exams in 2018. If we take 1 171 323 as cohort, and that 400 761 passed out of this cohort, the actual pass rate is not 78.2%, rather it is 34.2%.

This is made worse by the fact that the government does not make efforts to track if learners actually dropped out, went to FET, or join the workforce. This is the greatest governmental child neglect consistent with apartheid educational marginalization of black people.

While the rich and politicians in general send their children to private or semi private schools with modern technology, state of the art libraries and computer labs, sports facilities and sanitation. The reality for many black learners in South Africa is that they go to schools without water and electricity, schools without flushing toilets, without computer labs, and schools where two grades are taught at the same time by one teacher, or schools where there is only one textbook to an entire class.

Education was supposed to be a key to addressing the highly racialized economic inequality by preparing young people to actively participate in the economy, meaningfully. However, the governing party, on behalf of apartheid beneficiaries, has instead used the very same education to condemn many to poor wage, humiliation and joblessness due to lack of quality education.

Finally, the EFF laments the lack of university spaces that continuously haunt our higher education system. There are only 210 800 new places available at the country’s 26 universities in 2019. Meaning, besides those that have been excluded in previous years due to lack of space or funding, an additional 38 800 students will not find spaces at universities.

For those who have passed and do not have the money, or did not apply because they did not have money, we reiterate our call to all young people to report to institutions of higher learning, with their results, to register and further their education.

Statement issued by the Economic Freedom Fighters

One thought on “Grade 12 pass rate misleading – EFF”

  1. 1,067,075 South African children entered Grade 10 in 2016.
    400,761 South African children just passed their NCS in 2018.
    666,314 South African children have simply been “airbrushed” out of the narrative.


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