Fewer KZN matric passes

2008-12-30 00:00

THE results of the class of 2008 — a 57,8% pass rate — represent a baseline with which we can compare future performances at grade 12 and any comparison with previous years would be based on a false premise, KZN Education MEC Ina Cronjé said yesterday.

Nationally, the pass rate was 62,5%, down from 65,2% in 2007.

In KZN, over 152 000 candidates registered for the first National Senior Certificate examination this year, but only 136 796 were tested. Of these, 79 068 passed, a 57,8% pass rate compared with last year’s 63,8%.

Cronjé believes this was largely based on the removal of the grading system, which particularly affected borderline candidates.

“We have analysed the results and have found that about 30 000 were affected … Previously, because of the high grade and standard grade distinctions, learners’ results could be converted to lower grades … The new National Senior Certificate does not allow for this anymore.”

The province contributed 25% of candidates who wrote countrywide, and had the largest number of passes, although it does not have the biggest population.

This year, 25 170 — 18,4% of those who wrote matric — passed with endorsement (allowing them to study for bachelor’s degrees).

A further 28 662 pupils qualified for admission to university for diploma studies, along with an additional 24 379 who qualified for admission to higher certificate studies in higher education.

Obonjeni in northern KZN remained the worst-performing district in the province, while Umlazi district was the best, with 15 547 passes out of 20 688.

Cronjé said the dismal performance at Obonjeni, where 4 406 of 11 365 candidates passed, was proof of the resilience of the apartheid legacy. She said socio-economics plays a major role in performance in remote areas.

Cronjé, who described her feelings as “mixed”, as she was “pleased with some results and very disappointed with those at the lower end”, stressed that the National Curriculum Statement was completely different.

“The new National Senior Certificate has significant differences to the previous Senior Certificate. The rules under which the class of 2007 and others before them wrote are significantly different to the rules under which the class of 2008 wrote.”

Instead, she said what the aggregates failed to show, are the number of good stories that should be told.

One was the fact that the province received the highest number of maths passes ever.

In addition, more schools obtained 100% passes — 95, up from 78.

“It is quite obvious from all this that the bar has been raised significantly this year. … It is in this regard that comparisons of the performance of the class of 2008 to those in previous years are based on a false premise.”

Sapa reports that Education Minister Naledi Pandor said the country’s 2008 matric class received a pass rate of 62,5%, down from 65,2% in 2007.

However, 20,2% achieved the minimum pass required for entry to undergraduate study at university, up from 16% in 2007.

The requirement was a minimum of four subjects at 50% or above and a maximum of two subjects below 50%.

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