Matric pass rate rise hailed amid maths concern

2012-01-04 18:50

Excitement over a pass rate of 70.2% for the Class of 2011 – an improvement of 2.4 percentage points – was tempered by a disappointing performance in mathematics.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga told guests at the National Library in Pretoria the improvement in the pass rate was an indication that her department and other stakeholders were making “great strides”.

The Class of 2011 has achieved what the Class of 2010 couldn’t. Motshekga’s department had targeted a 70% pass rate for the Class of 2010 but it achieved 67.8% instead.

However, Department of Education director-general Bobby Soobrayan said the department was disappointed with the drop in the latest mathematics pass rate.

The numbers for learners who passed maths, science and mathematical literacy remained stable but the department said it was aiming for an improvement.

Only 46.3% of learners passed maths in 2011.

Soobrayan said “massive drop-outs” (the number of matrics decreased from 643 000 to 577 000 in 2011) was a “disturbing trend”.

“We are dealing with problems of the quality of learners prior to candidates entering Grade 12,” he said.

He attributed the drop in numbers of matrics to the changes to the curriculum introduced in 2008, which he said affected Grades 10 to 12.

But Soobrayan said the education system was improving as more matrics qualified to enter universities and study degree programmes.

The department’s intervention strategies would be aimed at improving literacy and numeracy and introducing more winter schools and revision camps and self-study guides for pupils.

The department would also pay more attention to early childhood development and intervene where needed from Grade R.

Chris Klopper of the South African Teachers Union described the improvement in the pass rate as “encouraging”.

“What makes this year’s results particularly encouraging is that they are the results of a group that did not perform well in national and international assessments in the lower grades. This was the result of poorly informed and not well considered changes to the curriculum at the time, aimed at giving effect to the outcomes based approach to education in our schools,” said Klopper.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.