#Matric2019: Real pass rate is 38.9%

The DA congratulates each and every learner who passed the National Senior Certificate (NSC) exam and wishes them 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%.

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.

This is 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%.

Attached (click here) is a table of the real pass rates of each province. This table, for instance, shows that, while according to the Department’s calculation (disregarding the drop-out rate), the Free State is the top-performing province with a pass rate of 88.4%. The truth, however, is that this province’s 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%.

For years now the DBE punts 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.

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.

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.

If we carry on this trajectory, more than half of all learners who start Grade 1 this year, will never see the inside of a NSC-exam room.

Let us not allow the wool to be pulled over our eyes and neglect the hundreds of thousands of young South Africans, failed by the system and who will most likely never be able to enter the formal labour market.