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Real matric pass rate is 38.9%: DA

Basic education minister Angie Motshekga announcing the matric results on Tuesday evening.
Basic education minister Angie Motshekga announcing the matric results on Tuesday evening.
Image: Thapelo Morebudi

The DA has congratulated the matric class of 2019 for its 81.3 percent pas rate but raised issues on the exact pass rate, claiming it was under 40 percent. 

Nomsa Marches, DA's Shadow Minister of Basic wished each and every learner who passed the National Senior Certificate (NSC) exam the best on the road ahead.

"However, whilst Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga and the Department of Education are celebrating an all-time high matric pass rate of 81.3%, the Democratic Alliance can reveal that the real pass rate is in fact 38.9%," Marches said in a statement. 

Marches said in 2017, a total of 1 052 080 learners were enrolled in grade 10, yet only 409 906 learners eventually passed matric last year.

"This means only 38.9% of grade 10 learners actually wrote and passed matric. This is for the most part due to an extraordinarily high drop-out rate, which means that hundreds of thousands of learners are denied the chance to write matric, let alone pass it.%, " Marches said. 

She said this was an indication of a dismally failing system, not a functional and successful one.

The DA-led Western Cape is the province with the lowest drop-out rate (33.4%) and therefore the highest real pass rate, standing at 54.8%, Marches said. 

She also questioned why Free State was given the honor of being the best performing province. 

"The truth, however, is that this province's (Free State) real pass rate only stands at 38.4%. The real national pass rate for 2018 was 37.6%. The real pass rate of 2019 is, therefore, an improvement of a mere 1.3%," Marches aid. 

She said for years now the department of basic education has punted the national pass rate because "it shifts the focus from their perpetual failures as an ANC government." 

The slow poison of drop-out rates between grades 10 and 12 is eating away at the future of the youth of this country, Marches said. 

"Since 2015, which saw the highest number of pupils who sat to write their matric exam, there has been a steady decline each year. This should be a real and urgent concern for the DBE. A further concern is the shocking pass rate from June results of the Multi Examination Opportunity (MEO) - only a disappointing 7.1% passed," she said. 

Marches added: "Nevertheless, however dismal this percentage is, it is used to inflate the pass rate and when phased out this year, the high drop-out rates will inevitably increase. Only then will we see the real performance of the Department.

Every child has the right to quality basic education."