Fewer matric failures predicted after a decade of interventions

Victor Mecoamere

Victor Mecoamere

The time of reckoning is here for the more than 700000 candidates who wrote this year's matric exams.

Tomorrow Education Minister Naledi Pandor and her nine provincial MECs will parade the top achieving pupils out of the 742 289 who started writing in September and finished in November.

In Gauteng 136 882 candidates were registered for the exams at 795 centres.

A source said yesterday that the Gauteng pass rate was three percent higher than last year.

Fewer failures are expected due to the various interventions that the national and provincial education departments have been implementing over the past decade.

These interventions included concerted efforts to reduce the number of dysfunctional schools, boosting the morale of both pupils and their teachers, improving cooperation, coordination and collaboration between the national and provincial education departments.

In addition common, nationally-set examination papers for mathematics, accounting, physical science, biology and geography were introduced.

Before and after the democratic elections in 1994 the matric exams were riddled with leaks, cheating, dysfunctional schools, poor coordination as well as poor quality and standards.

The national pass rate in 2004 was 70,7 percent. This dipped last year to 68,3 percent.

In 2003 the national average was higher at 73,3 percent. A total of 330 717 candidates passed matric in 2004, compared with 347 184 last year.

But a total of 137 503 candidates failed in 2004, as opposed to 161 179 last year, although 86 531 candidates attained endorsements last year, compared with 85 117 in 2004.

lSowetan will publish results for the Free State, Gauteng, Limpopo, KwaZulu- Natal, Mpumalanga and North West tomorrow.