The DA congratulates all matric candidates who receive their results today. Unfortunately, we must also confront a shocking truth: the real matric pass rate is 37.6% if you include the number of 2016 Grade 10s who actually passed matric in 2018.

These Grade 10s should be celebrating with other matriculants, but more than half didn’t write matric in the expected timeframe. This means only 37.6% of these Grade 10s passed matric. The others have either become stuck in a struggling education system repeating grades, or worse, dropped out of the system completely.

The ‘real’ matric pass rate for each province reveals a devastating reality: only the Western Cape managed to keep over 65% of its 2016 Grade 10s in school and through to writing matric on time.

Class of 2018
ProvinceGr 10 (2016)Wrote NSC (2018)% Grade 10 (2016) who wrote NSCPassed NSCPassed NSC (%)‘Real’ pass rate (%)
Eastern Cape148 34665 73344.346 39370.631.3
Free State61 24424 91440.721 80687.535.6
Gauteng172 50794 87055.083 40687.948.3
KwaZulu-Natal243 935116 15247.688 48576.236.3
Limpopo184 02876 73041.753 25469.428.9
Mpumalanga90 20144 61249.535 22579.039.1
North West66 55029 06143.723 57881.135.4
Northern Cape23 0829 90942.97 26473.331.5
Western Cape77 18250 75465.841 35081.553.6
National1 067 075512 73548.1400 76178.237.6

The celebrations by the Gauteng and Free State MECs is a slap in the face to the learners they failed to serve along the way. In Gauteng, 45% of its Grade 10s in 2016 didn’t write matric.

The Free State, with the highest drop out in the country, has a well-known reputation for ‘culling’, or intentionally keeping back learners to inflate pass marks, as confirmed by a Deputy Director-General of the Department of Basic Education (DBE) in 2017. The DA has repeatedly called for a national investigation into ‘culling’, but Minister Angie Motshekga is not concerned.

A new worry is the Multiple Exam Opportunity (MEO), which some provinces have relied on more heavily than others. It is not clear how many of these learners will actually return to complete their exams in June 2019, and many could be lost from the system in the interests of inflating provincial pass rates.

The DA’s priority is clear: to ensure that learners get the best quality matric in the expected time frame, so that they can start their journey into further education and employment on time and in good stead. It is only through this commitment to quality education that learners will be able to break the cycle of poverty that so many young South Africans have been left trapped in by a failing ANC government.

Issued by Nomsa Marchesi MP – DA Shadow Minister of Basic Education

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