Mixed results for Class of 2015

By Drum Digital
06 January 2016

There has been much jubilation across South Africa as matriculants received their results from 4 am on Wednesday morning,

By Ayanda Sitole

Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga describes the 2015 matric results as a critical assessment of the country’s education system.

Speaking at the matric result announcement ceremony in Johannesburg on Tuesday night, Motshekga described the success of one’s performance in matric as a reflection of one’s performance throughout your schooling career.

“It takes 13 years to go through the schooling system which is longer than any other education process in the country,” she says.

The class of 2015 achieved a 70,7 % overall pass rate which is a 5 % drop from 2014.

Education experts say the sharp decline in the pass rate shows a deficit in the education system which needs to be addressed urgently.

“The Department has tried to hide some of the cracks in the education system that are causing poor performance amongst learners, we need to identify the problems and find a way to solve them,” says Basil Manuel, president of the National Professional Teachers Union.

“Some of the reasons for the drop in learner performance can be attributed to social and political issues, children are not getting the psychological support they need from their parents and teachers, while schools are not receiving the support they need from government ” he adds.

There are 25 691 public and independent schools in South Africa and out of these, 22 schools had no matriculants who passed.

The provinces with the biggest decline in performance are the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo – with an approximate drop of 9 % in each province respectively.

The Eastern Cape pass rate dropped from 65,4 % in 2014 to 56,8 % in 2015, while KwaZulu-Natal experienced a drop from 69,7 % in 2014 to 60,7 % in 2015.

Limpopo went from a 72,9 % pass rate in 2014 to 65,9 % in 2015.

The Western Cape is the best performing province in South Africa, with a pass rate of 84,7% – a 2 % increase from 2014.

While Gauteng is second at 84,2% – a decrease of 0,5% from 2014.

Manuel predicts that the pass rate will drop once again in 2016 considering the new Curriculum Assessment Policy Statements (CAPS), which has been in effect since 2012

“We’ve had a lot of changes in the system. We are only in the second year of CAPS. The major changes are not in the content of the curriculum but in the way it is taught,” he says,

“However, this is not a finger-pointing exercise, we should be concerned with identifying the problems and fixing them.”

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