SA’s national matric pass rate for 2020 dropped by 5.1 percentage points
'I was expecting a bloodbath': Angie Motshekga
SA’s national matric pass rate for 2020 has dropped by 5.1 percentage points — from 81.3% in 2019 to 76.2%.
Basic education minister Angie Motshekga made the announcement on Monday afternoon.
She said that despite the drop, she was grateful to all South Africans for “having helped us because, in essence, I was expecting a bloodbath”.
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“I am very grateful and appreciative of our teachers and our learners who held their own in very difficult conditions. We tried everything in our power to claw back on lost time, which we couldn’t.”
She said if progressed learners were excluded, the pass rate would have been 81.2%.
A total of 607,227 full-time and 117,800 part-time candidates sat for the exams.
Motshekga said 36.4% of candidates achieved a bachelor’s pass, compared to 36.9% in 2019. She said 26% achieved a diploma pass, 13.7% a higher certificate and 0.01% or 61 candidates a National Senior Certificate pass.
At least 76.7% of boys passed compared to 75.8% of girls, but Motshekga said more girls achieved bachelor and diploma passes than boys.
More than 24,000 of the 65,000 progressed pupils who sat for the exams passed and these included more than 3,000 who achieved a bachelor’s pass.
Progressed pupils refers to those who were progressed into grade 12 despite failing grade 11.
These pupils bagged 1,655 distinctions.
A total of 2,058 of the 2,161 special-needs pupils who sat for the exams passed, including 943 who had a bachelor’s pass. The special-needs pupils produced 563 distinctions.
Motshekga said that 124 prison inmates wrote the exams and 71 achieved a bachelor’s pass, while 23 got a diploma pass and 13 higher certificates.
She quipped that these inmates might be the judges of the future, adding: “From being an inmate to a judge, I think it’s getting there. So the achievement of our inmates, I shouldn’t say prisoners, is 86.3%.”
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