By Lehlohonolo Lehana.
The opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) says that the country’s 2020 matric result are not a true reflection of the number of the students who are failed by the country’s education system.
On Monday (22 February), Basic Education minister Angie Motshekga announced the pass rate for the 2020 cohort was 76.2%. This is a drop of 5.1 percentage points compared to the 2019 matric pass rate (81.3%).
However, the DA said the 'real' matric pass rate is 44.1% – calculated by comparing the number of learners that enrolled in 2018, which was 997,872, to the number that wrote (578,468) and passed Matric in 2020, 440,702 learners.
This group of Matrics started with 1,072,993 learners enrolled in 2009 as Grade 1s, which calculates to a pass rate of 41%.
The party added that the Accounting, Mathematics and Physical Sciences pass rates have all decreased, with Physical Sciences declining by 10%
The serious concerns plaguing the South African basic education system will never be addressed if the department continues to try and bury the truth of their ineptitude, the DA said.
"This pass rate is disappointing and indicative of the chaotic nature of the 2020 academic year, coupled with the historic challenge of South Africa’s extraordinarily high drop-out rate."
The DA criticised the overburdened curriculum, a lack of infrastructure, and inadequate support for teachers.
These are not problems that arose with the Covid-19 pandemic. These problems have been ignored for years in favour of whitewashing matric results to mask the severe systemic failures of the Department of Basic Education.
"Yet, in spite of many challenges, countless teachers stepped up and went the extra mile for their learners during this period. They have done wonders in an effort to ensure that each and every child still received a quality education, and the DA commends them for their service."
The achievements by province, including the progressed learners, are as follows:
- The Free State is the leading province at 85.1%,
- Gauteng achieved 83.8%,
- Western Cape achieved 79.9%,
- KwaZulu-Natal achieved 77.6%,
- North West achieved 76.2%,
- Mpumalanga achieved 73.7%,
- Limpopo achieved 68.2%,
- Eastern Cape achieved 68.1%,
- Northern Cape achieved 66.0.
Among the 75 education districts in the country, the top ten districts are in three provinces.
More impressively, all of the top ten districts, performed above 85%. Notably, out of the top ten districts in the country, six are from Gauteng, and three are from the Free State; and one from the Western Cape.