Matric figures are correct - department

2011-01-07 11:17

Johannesburg - An article that claims the 2010 matric pass rate was actually 57% was based on wrong calculations, the basic education department said on Friday.

"The matric pass rate we have given of 67.8% is absolutely correct based on the method we have been using over the past 16 years," spokesperson Granville Whittle told Sapa.

The Sowetan's front page on Friday read: "WRONG ANGIE Now repeat after Sowetan: 279033 643546= 43% failed, the real pass rate is 57%."

Whittle said the newspaper had used the wrong method to calculate the percentage.

"They took the total number of learners registered to write exams and included part-time candidates (repeat candidates who failed previously) to do their calculation.

"Learners who failed before only write subjects that they failed and this number is not included in the total figure," explained Whittle.

Sowetan calculations 'correct'

Editor Bongani Keswa maintained that their calculations were correct.

"Our percentage is correct. The department are using their own formula and we are using our own formula."

He said their figure was calculated in an "editors' analysis".

Keswa said the journalists who penned the story had contacted the department spokesperson for comment but he was not available.

Whittle said the department was questioning the motives behind the report.

He said the department was not planning to take legal action but expected an apology.

"They owe us that much... the department is upset and the thousands of learners who worked hard must be equally upset."

  • Mr Wendal - 2011-01-07 11:29

    No wonder our kids suck at maths. The answers can be manipulated to suit each side of the story. Wt nxt? Mxit splng axeptbl in eng?

      Antoinette - 2011-01-07 12:34

      Sheesh, had to read that Mxit lingo very carefully to understand what you said! Must be too old for Mxit!!!! :)

      Amas - 2011-01-08 18:22

      Me too! :-)

      mikecolley - 2011-01-08 21:27

      The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility. As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5- year phase-in plan that would become known as "Euro-English". In the first year, "s" will replace the soft "c".. Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy. The hard "c" will be dropped in favour of "k". This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter. There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the troublesome "ph" will be replaced with "f".. This will make words like fotograf 20% shorter. In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible. Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent "e" in the languag is disgrasful and it should go away. By the 4th yer people wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing "th" with "z" and "w" with "v". During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vords kontaining "ou" and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensi bl riten styl. Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi TU understand ech oza. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru. Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in ze forst plas. If zis mad you smil, pleas pas on to oza pepl.

  • LarchStrober - 2011-01-07 11:31

    Why not give your formula with the announcement of the results, this way it is clear what the percentage indicates and nobody can come up with different percentage based on other formulas?

      Picasso - 2011-01-07 12:14

      They do give the formula, it is in the report that you can download from DBE's website. The morons at the Sowetan didn't read the report, every press agency got a copy of the report at the Union Buildings on Thursday Morning. This is just bad reporting from the Sowetan.

      cervezab - 2011-01-07 13:43

      @Picasso - do you have the website of the DBE, I only get info on the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise and other weird institutions, you will save me lots off trouble, thanks

      Picasso - 2011-01-07 15:00

      Picasso - 2011-01-07 15:01 Then just select: Report on the National Senior Certificate Examination Results 2010

  • IandI - 2011-01-07 11:33

    Eish. So there are two ways to calculate the percentage? The Dept has its formula(1/1*100=11) and the Sowetan has its formula(1/1*100=3). Ok, now can the president establish a Commission of Enquiry, a Sub-committee and a Working Group led by top mathematicians to settle this argument once and for all?:)

      AZB - 2011-01-07 13:36

      Ha ha,,,,,, well said landl its like in accounting.... what do you want the answer to be... formulas and the basis of calculation can be adjusted to suit whoever. The Sowetan is applying the KISS principle which makes a lot of sense; if a 100 pupils registered for the exams (for 1,2,3 or 10 papers) and 47 of them failed to obtain a matric exemption then the "fail" rate is 47%, and by implication the "pass" rate is then 53%

  • Johan - 2011-01-07 11:36

    We can also reduce the fatalities on the road by only counting the deaths caused by people in cars with goodyear tyres, etc.

      dictator - 2011-01-07 11:44


      Ederik - 2011-01-07 11:55

      Subtract all the taxi and bus deaths, then you will have a very low percentage!

      Gaanake - 2011-01-07 12:38

      Johan, Rugby & Ederik, get your facts correct. None of the students who did not pass died in car accidents... they just failed - hence the calculated pass rate of say, 67.8% which incidentally, the education Minister herself does not understand.

      Vaughn - 2011-01-07 13:24

      @Gaanake, Therefore, ALL of the students who DID pass, died in car accidents??

      ekke - 2011-01-07 16:17

      Seems like some people just don't get what you are trying to say here. lol. A shame actually. But i do get what you are saying, and I also do not believe their figures on road deaths that seems to drop each year, and so does our HIV infections and deaths hey?

  • Serias - 2011-01-07 11:37

    Very clear that the department is manipulating the formula in order to reflect a better number. Next year they will use another method to make sure the answer looks good. Why have they been using a different formula for the past 16 years against the formula used before? Because the previous formula's were accurate, that's why!!!

      S.Soga - 2011-01-07 12:04

      @Serias, 2009's results were shocking, having used the 16 years method. So i don't agree that the previous method was more accurate.

      Picasso - 2011-01-07 12:18

      You can not use the number of students that registered to work out a percentage, you must use the number of students that actually wrote the exams, and wrote 7 or more subjects only. It is like going to University and only take 4 subjects this year, next year you must do the rest to be able to go to the next level.

      Gert Van Der Merwe - 2011-01-07 12:31

      @S.soga, so just because the figures were shocking they werent accurate?Good one!

      Zion - 2011-01-07 12:46

      There is enough evidence to accurately assume that the figures were manipulated and here I stress that marking the papers was fraudulently done for Black Learners because that is what the unions and others wanted. My estimate was 59% based on the findings of partial sources and their findings were reported on NEWS 24. The contention is still that if a learner writes 7 subjects or 4 and have failed the subjects then that is a failure anyway you look at it because that matriculant will have to do it this year again.

      Zion - 2011-01-07 12:47

      Insert impartial for partial above

      S.Soga - 2011-01-07 12:48

      @Gert Van Der Merwe, i think you are misunderstanding me. Serias is saying the 2010 results look better because the current system is less accurate.I'm saying if the current system was less accurate, then 2009's results would have looked much better as well. Got it??????

      lenand40 - 2011-01-07 13:26

      I can see that you went to the Sowetan Department of Education. The debate is now how the formula should be calculated, rather what formula has been used for the past 16 years. If the formula used in 2010 is consistent with the one used in the previous 16 years, Sowetan have no case. If however Sowetan contends that the government changed their method of calculation in 2010 only and that 2009 and previous years had different methods, then Sowetan has a point. As it stands, the Sowetan look like idiots, regardless of how you feel about government and the matric pass rate

  • aidhinwiyat - 2011-01-07 11:38

    Well Done Sowetan, dont back down, you dont owe them an apology, They owe South Africa an apology. Dont let them bully you

      Picasso - 2011-01-07 12:18

      If you actually read the report you'll realise that the Sowetan is wrong.

      lldoidge - 2011-01-07 12:52

      Picasso, depends who you want to believe! The Sowetan aren't wrong! The department put out the figures and if you read the figure correctly then the Sowetan are right. If the department didn't want questions they should have excluded the 100 000 odd that didn't/did (or whaterver) write. No need for apoplogies on the part of the Sowetan!

      Zion - 2011-01-07 12:52

      Picasso, What is of interest to me, anyway, is the marking was biased in favour of a specific group and they, the markers were called to do it that way. This is something which will never see the light of day. It was done to boost the image of a rotten-to-the-core DOE. Had it been done honestly the rate would have hung at 57-59%

      lldoidge - 2011-01-07 12:53

      Oh! Picasso, how many of those 100 000 odd passed and how many failed? How many wrote exams and how many didn't? Answers should be forthcoming from the department!

      lenand40 - 2011-01-07 13:27

      Don't back down "aidhinwiyat" You do not want anyone to think you have any intelligence, do you. So, keep it up

  • Aj - 2011-01-07 11:39

    Eish... the calculations is difficult....

  • cancer1983 - 2011-01-07 11:40

    Why would the thousand of learners who worked hard be equally upset? If they passed they passed and if they failed they failed. What the overall pass rate is is of no concern to them. And if part-time candidates were excluded from the "total who wrote" figure were they also excluded from "total who passed" figure?

      S.Soga - 2011-01-07 12:02

      That's what i'm asking....they should sommer publicise the method used.

      Andrew - 2011-01-07 12:04

      Agree 100%, I was also confused as to why 'learners' (hate that term) would be upset by the report. Whittle doth protest too much me thinks. Which ever way you look at it the result is unacceptably low.

      lenand40 - 2011-01-07 13:28

      Yes, to your last question.

  • Chris V - 2011-01-07 11:42

    According to Cape Talk last night. 12 years ago +- 1,3M people registered for Grade 1 of which only +- 364,000 have passed Grade 12 now. That means only about 30% of our students are making though our schooling system. Quote a sobering stat.

      lenand40 - 2011-01-07 14:08

      @Chris V Do you know many Died Migrated Moved to Private Schools Were paralysed Simply dropped out Found employment where they do not believe Matric would help Would you blame the Dept for all of these?

      IandI - 2011-01-07 14:37

      The rest are either sitting in parliament as MPs or jave joined the ANCYL, no matric required.:)

      Picasso - 2011-01-08 09:09

      Chris V, just for interest sake, KZN have a matric learner-pregnancy rate of 26%. That is a large part of learners who didn't wrote. Then you must also add the Aids mortality rate. Most of the Aids children don't make it beyond 13 years, but the must still go to school while they can.

  • Jan - 2011-01-07 11:43

    @Zoolie. I agree the % that passsed papers it would be a good indicator but lets look at the facts available A total of 537543 wrote all 7 papers in a single exam period. The department says 34513 people passed Matric in 2010. Based on that, their calculations are correct. However, a total of 643546 Students wrote Matric papers, some of whom are repeaters that passed this time round and some of whom one can assume must have written their last paper required to obtaining a matric certificate. This is where the uncertainty comes in. Is the department including or excluding these students (of the approx 106000 that did not write all 7 subjects) in their overall pass figure?

      Zoolie - 2011-01-07 11:59

      thus use the amount of papers that was writen and not the amount of pupils, this is probarly the closest they will ever come to a more accurate % of who passed and who didn`t. Now they are simply just manipulating the figures. State how many got matric, but dont make it the result.

      Picasso - 2011-01-07 12:21

      The department is excluding them, because they must still write the rest of the subjects.

      cancer1983 - 2011-01-07 12:48

      I suspect they have included part-time candidates in the count of pupils that passed, though I hope and pray they didn't. If they did and assuming all part-time candidates passed second time round that would reduce the actual pass rate for pupils writing for the first time down to approximately 45%.

  • Keke - 2011-01-07 11:44

    there goes the prophets of doom again Sowetan get a life ,stop taking us for a ride to sell papers (the model has been used for 16 years & worked well all this previous years

      Aj - 2011-01-07 11:52

      The model is a bloody joke... just like the curriculum. I've seen 1st hand how the schools boost the marks so the kids don't fail. It's a disgrace. If u keep getting something for nothing.. who is gonna pay the piper.

      k1dbl4ck - 2011-01-07 11:59

      what model? its not published?

      S.Soga - 2011-01-07 12:09

      @Keke, don't you wanna know how they got to their figures? I think Sowetan is stimulating a necessary debate.

      Picasso - 2011-01-07 12:23

      Why can't the people just download the report and check for themselve, rather than speculate. The intelligent readers will get the report and will see it is actually very plain and simple.

      S.Soga - 2011-01-07 12:56

      @Picasso, have you seen Sowetan's report? I mean, if one is to check the department's report, might as well check the conflicting ones too.

      Picasso - 2011-01-07 15:04

      S. Soga, the Sowetan do not have a report, they commented on the DBE report, which they clearly didn't read.

  • Paul - 2011-01-07 11:48

    Daar Sy !!!! Daai is die nommer wat reg klink !!! Dankie Sowetan!!!

      S.Soga - 2011-01-07 12:22

      @Paul....Lol. Give them a chance boetie.Lol.

  • Logs01 - 2011-01-07 11:49

    I say again: To sustain the growth in anual pass-rate, they can; 1. Up the standard/quality of teaching. More pupils pass 2. Drop the standard of exam papers. More will pass 3. Drop required 30% to pass further to 25%. "Help' more pass 4. "Mark" papers more "conservatively". "Help" more pass 5. "Adjust" results positively. "Help" more pass. My bet is on a combination of points 2 - 5. If it goes on like this, they will be handing out Matric Certifcates for "good" attendance and behaviour, in a couple of years.

      ekke - 2011-01-07 15:15

      Where is the LIKE button? lol. What I want to know is why they changed the formula 16 years ago, if the formula prior to that WORKED just fine?!

  • d54 - 2011-01-07 11:49

    This is a typical example of the Dunning Kruger effect (Google it)or a case of they can fool some of the people all the time and some of the people some of the time but they can not fool all the people all the time. There are those of us who were educated before 1994. Not everything pre 1994 was bad.

      ekke - 2011-01-07 15:37

      Amen to this. I am also from the pre-1994 brigade, and a result of the so-called "bantu education". Heck, give me that "bantu education" and the people it delievered ANY time over what we have to deal with lately. You either worked to pass, or you stayed where you were. Got a HELSE pak slae for not doing your work, moved on with your life, and did better then the previous year! nowadays the poor little kids are so babied by not only the state, but their parents as well, who doesn't do a thing anymore to try and help there kids!

  • briansmith702 - 2011-01-07 11:51

    Typical of the ANC and their propoganda. They will not fool the intelligencier. A bunch of morons who believe the results!!!!

      Picasso - 2011-01-07 12:25

      "They will not fool the intelligencier." OK, that excludes you alright. Go and read the report.

      lldoidge - 2011-01-07 12:57

      Eish! Picasso aren't you getting just a tad tired of defending the indefensible?

      Zion - 2011-01-07 13:01

      Picasso, how about coming up with something more intelligent than a bunch of self-satisfying one-liners. The real Picasso would have made you look like a fool too.

      Picasso - 2011-01-07 15:06

      Zion, if you guys are to stupid/lazy to read the report, I'll be waisting my time to discuss it with you.

      lldoidge - 2011-01-07 15:19

      Picasso, are you one of the matrics of 2010? The spelling and grammar!!! Eish!

      ekke - 2011-01-07 15:37

      Okay Picasso, so we've already established that you work for the DOE... let it go already, will you?!

      Picasso - 2011-01-08 08:08

      Listen all you moron ldoidge,on't you think if the Sowetan was right the DA and the other newspapers would've commented a long time ago on the 'mistakes' of the DBE formula? And no lldoidge, I'm not one of the 2010 matrics, but you are clearly looking at your lack of intelligence and reasoning abilities. Ekke, you are clearly uninformed, DOE broke up into DBE and DHE more than a year ago. Also I'm not defending the DOE, I'm defending logical thinking. Hell, DBE got in their report Northview high with a 238 wrote and 0% pass. It is a model-C shcool and is one of the top schools in Gauteng, clearly the numbers are wrong. Well Zion, no one made me look like a fool, although you guys make yourself look like fools. According to you morons, the Sowetan (of all newspapers) are the only institution in the entire country that was clever enough to pick up the DBE mistake. Don't you think the shadow minister of the DA haven't already went through the report, and do you really think he is too stupid to pick up on such a mistake? Guess who look like fools, clearly not me.

      Zion - 2011-01-08 09:59

      Ok Picasso, Now you can get off your high horse we are not going to read the report because you say so. While you are painting a twisted watch we prefer to carry on in our ignorance. Can you prove in any way that marking was honest and professionally done and as far as I am concerned that is a major factor which boosted the pass rate. Some of those kids passed on less than 30% If you like it or not.

  • 106106sa - 2011-01-07 11:57

    It's a no brainer that the ANC was going to lie about the 2010 matric results!!!It's already leaked out there that the results were seriously manipulated!!!!!But then, it's the nature of 'this beast',... to applause failure!!

  • Lwazi - 2011-01-07 11:58

    Come on Angie, everyone knows you're misleading us, it's a matter of time before someone exposes your lies. Why not take Sowetan to court? Because you'll lose and get exposed. No doubt some of these kids worked hard but that pass rate is absolutely unrealistic, taking into account all the distractions this past year.

  • silas.chidi - 2011-01-07 11:59

    Give us a raw data so that we can make our own stats

  • The Baas - 2011-01-07 11:59

    Divide those who passed into those who were registered for matric exams and you get to 57% ! IDIOTS. The fact that some clowns never even showed up still mjeans they fail ? Why do we bullshit ourselves ?

      Revolutionary Man - 2011-01-07 13:08

      "The fact that some clowns never even showed up still mjeans they fail " <-- too true. When I was in matric, there was a guy that didn't show up for the matric exam, and we lost our 100% matric pass coz of him... so the same goes for the pass rates... no doctoring should be done. Numbers don't lie...

      lenand40 - 2011-01-07 13:39

      You maybe right, but that is not the point. This "wrong" method has been in place since 1994, in which case one needs to compare apples with apples. If someone dies before they take an exam, is it fair to deem that as a failure? How many kids who were matric dies in 2010? How many got so sick they had to pull out of school? How many were forced to work to support their brothers and sisters when their parents died or abandoned them? Neither of these is the fault of the Dept of Education.

      ekke - 2011-01-07 15:38


      moiraine - 2011-01-08 13:49

      Remember this is a report can only go by a computer programme. I know that in our college (not matric) we register the students for the external exam about a week before we receive a list of the students which we check and confirm. That is then the final list. When the result comes out whoever was on that list will have a mark. Those that did not pitch will have a 0, and unfortunately it will then go into our stats. It does not mean they failed since they were never there, but on the report it showed as failed. I guess they have huge numbers of students writing and it is hard to go and remove those that didnt pitch out. However, surely that cannot be a huge amount of learners, 1 or 2 percent maybe.

  • Paul - 2011-01-07 12:00

    Besides that, how the F**k is it even possible to fail matric these days?? doesnt 28% get you over? if you cant obtain that then you are a MORON who has wasted 12 years of tax payers money and should be sent back to Zimbabwe.

      S.Soga - 2011-01-07 12:26 killing me man. Lol.....But seriously,Zimbabwe priorites Maths and produces actuaries, they are all over S.A insurance companies.

      Ockert - 2011-01-07 12:45

      The guys in Zim actaully have brains

      MyThoughts - 2011-01-07 14:57

      Clearly you dont know what you are talking about and I'm guessing you dont like Zimbabweans because they are stealing your jobs. Ask yourself why. The Zimbabwean economy is in shambles and everybody knows this but over the years Zimbabwe has produced some of the best actuaries and statisticians. In Zimbabwe the majority of illegal Zimbabwean in this country who are working as gardeners and tea boys have passed Ordinary Level (matric) including Mathematics and Accounts the very subjects South Africa struggles to pass and no their minimum requirement to pass was not 28%. In fact now that they have permits maybe we ought to let them teach in our schools. Zimbabweans have always been highly educated jealous down. Even now when their economy isn't lekker they still do exceptionally well academically as compared to SA students

  • Ederik - 2011-01-07 12:01

    I believe the Sowetan. The menastas just want to look good so that they can give themselves huge bonusses again. Everybody that wrote exams should be counted to get the percentage and the figure is 364513 out of 643546 that gives you 56.46%. Worst is that you can pass with 30%! That is totally insane!

      Picasso - 2011-01-07 12:29

      No, you are wrong Ederik. The report is about who wrote matric, not who wrote subjects. If you write 5 subjects and pass it, you do not pass matric, you must still pass two more subjects. So you can not add everyone who wrote some of the subjects (643546).

      lldoidge - 2011-01-07 12:59

      Picasso, if you wrote 5 subjects, was it because you failed previously and only had to write 5 or was it that you only wrote 5 and are going to write the other 2 next year? See where I'm coming from? Whichever way you try and justify it, it just doesn't add up!

      Oryx_ZA - 2011-01-07 13:31

      These figures are meaningless and should only be shown in context....I believe what should be shown was how many grade 11 students are present as of January 2009, have matriculated now.

      lenand40 - 2011-01-07 13:41

      Does not matter whom you believe. What matters is comparing apples to apples. If the same method was used for 16 years, then why would it be changed only when Sowetan wakes up to it?

      lenand40 - 2011-01-07 13:43

      @Illdoidge: You are missing the point. Whether the methodology is wrong or right is not the issue. What the issue is comparing apples with apples. What method was used in 2009, 2008, etc. If it was the Sowetan method, then the Dept lied, but if the method used by the Dept has been used for 16 years, then Sowetan lied. This is not about what is the right method, but whether one method was used for 16 years

      IceBlaster - 2011-01-07 13:55

      @Picasso you also wrong cause in the report no where is it stipulated that the total achieved (passed) does not include the ones that are part time

      Picasso - 2011-01-07 15:07

      Icebreaker, yes it do.

      lldoidge - 2011-01-07 15:20

      So Lenand40, what is the formula?

      ekke - 2011-01-07 16:09

      Picasso, what if you already wrote the 2 last year, and you only needed the last of the subjects this year?! Surely that should be counted as well?

      maseratifitt - 2011-01-07 21:20

      Picasso: You fail again ! NOT "Icebreaker" ...."IceBlaster"!!! And NOT "yes it do"...."yes it does"!!!. I am afraid you will have to rewrite English and Arithmetic.

      Picasso - 2011-01-08 08:14

      Ekke, it is counted in the 'subjects' part of the report, but not in the matric pass part. If you do your second year at univerity partime over two years, must they count you the first year as a fail mark?

      Picasso - 2011-01-08 08:15

      maseratifitt, up to now I haven't seen you make one intelligent comment on any forum except racist remarks and insults, guess who is failing...

      Picasso - 2011-01-08 08:16

      Sorry, university, before the language experts soil their tampons again.

      maseratifitt - 2011-01-08 12:11

      Dear Picasso : If you show me just one racist remark I ever made, I will buy you a beer.

  • k1dbl4ck - 2011-01-07 12:02

    WHO CARES!?! With a pass mark of 30% its all pointless.

  • S.Soga - 2011-01-07 12:13

    Forget the matric results, lets measure the department by the number of people who succeed on their first year at a tertiary level (those that have decided to study further) and proceed to second year.

      Revolutionary Man - 2011-01-07 13:13

      my friend. Tertiary doesn't prove anything. Because you'll find people who hustle and make it in life. And you'll find straight A students flunking first year of Engineering...

      S.Soga - 2011-01-07 13:35

      @Revolutionary man...that is true point is, the quality of those A's aren't strong enough..... that's why they flunk, amongst other reasons.

  • sean - 2011-01-07 12:25

    I agree with the education department and the figuer of 67,8 %. One cannot manipulate passrate figuers as opposition parties can and will have the figuers auditored. What the education department should have done was not to include the 106 000 that rewrote certain subjects but just have 537 543 wrote matric and 345 513 passed giving you a passrate of 67,8 %. It's the figuer of 106 00 that seems to be confusing some people including the Soweto newspaper, not that difficult really unless you want it to be.

      callthemice - 2011-01-07 12:50

      I don't agree with you Sean. If the government desn't include the 106 000, they are suggesting that they don't care about the matriculants who are writing the exams a second time. The focus of the education department should be on them as well, therefore they should be included in the calc. Old saying in business, what's not measured is not managed.

      lldoidge - 2011-01-07 13:04

      Sean, did the 106 000 rewrite exams or did they repeat matric or did they just do some subjects this year and are doing some next year? Rewrites for matric are in March/April so anybody having rewritten would have redone matric which means they should have been included in the % passed or failed!

      Sam - 2011-01-07 13:54

      Sean, I agree with you. And it doesn't mean that the government doesn't care, it is reporting on matrics who wrote all 7 subjects. You need to read the full article.

  • Paul - 2011-01-07 12:36

    Q : what happens when the class of 2010 visits Australia A : Both countries Average IQ increases

      shawntx10 - 2011-01-07 13:18

      hahaha, very funny!

  • Guilliano - 2011-01-07 12:37

    what is so difficult to understand? the calc. is right when u want to show u can divide however in terms of the matric pass rate.. anc, edu. dept. and all saying the % is correct plz go do maths over.. an amount of students was registerd as matriculants and an amount passed.. divide the passed students by the amount registerd. ul get just over 50% which is correct. those who onli wrote 2 subjects this year and failed shud be counted.. i wonder what the matric pass rate wudv been if all those 106003 students wu 'didnt write all seven subj.' passed?? 73.11%?? excl. fatalities.. or wud it stay at 67.81%..

      Picasso - 2011-01-08 08:24

      If they counted the students who wrote less than 7 subjects the percentage would've been much higher, it is much easier to study for two subjects than for 7.

  • Thor - 2011-01-07 12:40

    If the beeld ran this article it would have been branded as racist and an attack on the ANC etc.

      ekke - 2011-01-07 16:12

      true that.

      Picasso - 2011-01-08 08:26

      Yes, but Beeld wouldn't run such an article, they are to clever to make such an error as the Sowetan did.

  • Sir Richard - 2011-01-07 12:44

    i bet Hersch wishes he'd written this year

  • kitchenboy3 - 2011-01-07 12:44

    can anyone say 'strugle accounting'

  • cancer1983 - 2011-01-07 12:50

    Does anybody have proof of the 30% minimum requirement to pass? I only ask because if that true, then it's bloody scary!

      cancer1983 - 2011-01-07 12:58

      Just spoke to my cousin who wrote matric and he said the minimum requirements to pass are 40% for English, 35% for Maths and 30% for all other subjects. That is hectic! With 30% as the pass mark why is government celebrating 67.8%? Even is that was the right number that's disgusting! 1 out of 3 pupils did not even know 30% of their work?

      Paul - 2011-01-07 13:03

      I believe it to be lower, i may stand to be corrected, but if you fail badly on higher grade then you may still pass on ordinary, through this calculation an aggregate of 28% is enough to get you into the ANCYL and Eskom

      peter.pienaar - 2011-01-07 13:22

      iTS TRUE.! My sister who scored 6 distinctions......showed me the doc that states....30% for the 2 languages 30% maths, 30% science, 40% for all other 3 subjects!!!

      JustAthought - 2011-01-07 13:49

      It's true. I had a friend who was looking for a job and she gave me copies of her matric certificate to help her look of a job....what I saw was shocking and I was just too embarrased to even forward it to any company. What child or parent fin their right mind celebrates a pass of 30%. I mean even 40% is unacceptable. In my days we had to get 50% to pass our matric and we still managed to get above that.

      AZB - 2011-01-07 13:49

      Can more people confirm what the required pass rate(s) are? If cancer1983 is correct then I am a very sad person today.

      Picasso - 2011-01-08 08:27

      Paul, just for a matter of interest, do you still get higher, standard and lower grades as in the old days?

      Zion - 2011-01-08 10:17

      Peter.pienaar, The 30% for mathematics can cause a moer of a problem with apprentices etc in the future. This is just another educational bomb with a lighted fuse.

  • KTM200 - 2011-01-07 13:13

    @ serias.....and who has been running the country for the last 16 years. people that cant count hehe

      S.Soga - 2011-01-07 13:38

      @KTM200, you know you're instigating a racial debate now right? Aren't you tired of it?

      Ederik - 2011-01-07 13:46

      They can count! One million for a new car, 30 for a new house, 69 for a youth party...............

      S.Soga - 2011-01-07 14:04

      Here we go again......lets resort to race....blah, blah, if they never f-upped the country before '94. Ederik.....accept it and get over it...we all did, black and white!!!

      Picasso - 2011-01-08 08:52

      S.Soga, you see it here on a daily bases, normally the racist (black and white) are the ones who never adds anything to the discussions. They are to stupid to say anything intelligent so they turn the insults, like our friends maseratifitt, polio donkey etc.

      maseratifitt - 2011-01-08 17:03

      Dear Picasso : This article is about education. Noting your reaction to S.Soga I feel I need to point out the following to your good self : ...on a daily basis-NOT "bases". ...ones who never add-NOT "adds". ...they are too stupid-NOT "to stupid" It seems you enjoy insulting and falsely accusing people. On not one of my postings did I ever resort to racist remarks, name calling or insults, like you just did. I am afraid you therefore also get 0% for comprehension. Good luck for the rewrite! S. Soga : You have a point. Sorry for the interruption. KTM200 : Nice bike!

  • Helmut - 2011-01-07 13:14

    i hope those repeating were excluded in previous stats,well then if they are indeed excluded, i am hoping to see the minister publishing %pass rate of such pupils.

  • DeonL - 2011-01-07 13:16

    If the new Media Law was in place the editor of the Sowetan might be in jail by now. With the SWC and Teacher strike most people thought a decline of 1 to 3 persent is on the cards. I think the paper might be right.

      Zinki - 2011-01-07 13:37

      I think the Sowetan is more accurate. Sounds more realistic to me. The department had to massage the results so that people would not blame the SWC and the teachers' strike and the teachers' and kids' laziness for the worsening results. Talk about pulling the wool over everyone's eyes!

      Picasso - 2011-01-08 08:28

      And none of the other newspapers or political parties picked it up? I seriously doubt that the Sowetan is more accurate.

  • ro3 - 2011-01-07 13:23

    Concerned Surly in good corporate governance you should report which subject were taken up and which were taken down, and by how much? As this shall impact on the results, so in a year that the Children missed a lot of schooling as well as a teachers strike the results achived are better than any result since 1994, this does not stack up. If the department has or want any credibility they shall share all the information as the people to suffer in the long run are the pupils as they shall not have accurate results as well as those who go to University shall not cope.

  • MyThoughts - 2011-01-07 13:24

    I think the issue hear is not really about how the pass rate was calculated. The mere fact that the percentage is in the 60's range is ridiculous. The pass rate should be +80%. This is more about SA's approach towards student discipline. Currently South Africa is the least learned &/or least enumerate country in Africa and this due to the fact that the students here have too much freedom/rights. They disrespect teachers and teachers are not allowed to impose significant punishment. Detention is not an effective method. Spare the rod and spoil the child. Most kids(85%) excel/succeed in life if chastised physically - esp black kids (no offence meant) but obviously it should be kept within reason.Give teachers more power to impose effective child discipline and you will see amazing results. Its not about lowering the standard of exams because that will result in a country full of passed matrics who are not intelligent enough to even finish 1st year at University/College.

      ro3 - 2011-01-07 13:44

      I concur with what you are saying as the fish rots from the head down, as with the s Free State MEC speeding at 235 km per / H, gets off with a R20,000 Rand fine, good example of the lack of discipline, shown by the leadership. the issue is that the elections are comming up and this result shall be used as a ploy. People must think with their minds and not their hearts.

      lenand40 - 2011-01-07 14:21

      So, parents have no role in how their children behave in school? Teachers should not do the job of the parents. If the parents want to raise pre-madonnas, then that is their problem. Soon, we will expect CEOs of companies to start beating up on employees. I am sorry, cannot agree with tht logic. Let each family deal with discipline. Would agree that teachers and parents should work closer together, but I will not have a teacher raising my child for me.

      MyThoughts - 2011-01-07 15:25

      @lendand40 but then again if you discipline your child at home the teacher will never need to discipline that child for you at school but it is only when you dont do your part thats when the teacher is compelled to act. Often those kids who are raised well (in terms of mannerism)at home teachers rarely have problems with them besides the normal teenage naughtiness. It is parents like you who make the children think that they can say and/or do what they want to teachers without facing the consequences of their actions. CEOs of companies beating up employees I mean where is the intelligence in that sentence - all companies have protocols which employees adhere to or otherwise face the consequences and they are usually effective(99.9%). What I'm saying is that the rules governing student school conduct are currently not effective hence we need to take action and use a different approach.

      moiraine - 2011-01-08 13:56

      I feel the opposite, my child goes to school for 6 hours a day.One disruptive child will ruin it for all. The teacher needs to be able to discipline the children appropriately, otherwise you can say: Oh Sally, I will tell your mom. Then Sally carries on misbehaving because she knows that her mom wont do anything or by that time the teacher will have forgotten. Discipline needs to be immediate and appropriate. However, I do agree that we should all teach our children manners at home then they probably wouldnt be misbehaving in the first place.

  • nibbie - 2011-01-07 13:34

    Whether it's 67% or 57% doesn't really matter because the stats are based on adjusted figures. Was this adjustment exactly the same as last year? If not, there is no basis for comparison between 2009 & 2010 If the Department was brave enough, they would give us stats based on the raw, unadjusted data.

  • rmarkram - 2011-01-07 13:35

    Would love to see what the pass rate for each race is though...but I'm pretty sure those numbers will be very inaccurate

      Paul - 2011-01-07 13:49

      If by races you mean 94.7 cycle or the Comrades, I am sure the Duzi bunch will score the lowest....

      MyThoughts - 2011-01-07 14:20

      Publishing the results per race is not a wise idea - it will only create more division amongst our colourful nation. The lowest passing race will be looked down upon by other races and also some companies will not offer them any job opportunities because irrespective of they individual results they will be shunned based on their race pass rate. Apartheid years have passed but as it is 16 years later we are still nursing the after effects so lets not act in manners that will make us move backwards

      Picasso - 2011-01-08 08:33

      Yes MyThoughts but the ANC, AA and BEE will cover for the lowest passing race and the higher passing races will be forced to go over seas to find opportunities. Although, if I look at (I guess white) people like lldioge, Zion, maseratifitt etc, the white race do have their fair share of morons.

      Zion - 2011-01-08 10:21

      Picasso, I hereby grant you permission to use my name in vain to win your petty arguments. Who are you exactly? some little judge for the underprivileged and less fortunate. Go well. Or the christ and saviour for education

      moiraine - 2011-01-08 14:50

      That will just give you misleading results. My daughter is at a Model C (not sure what they are called now) school and the results are pretty evenly spread over the race groups. But there are a lot more children in non-model c schools and a lot more black children in non-model C schools. And, lets face it a lot more black children in poor circumstances, so therefore the results may look poorer for the black children than non-black children. I believe that given similar circumstances you will get similar results from all races.

  • lenand40 - 2011-01-07 13:36

    Who cares anyway? So, 57 or 67% passed matric. I cannot believe we would have such a stupid debate. Those who passed did and those who failed will have to worry about what to do next. We are trying to read too much into nothing for political mileage. In the scheme of things, matric means very little. Even with a degree these days, you are not guaranteed a job. The fact that the government wastes our money with these exams is telling. If you pass matric, what does it mean? These kids are trained to pass exams and not to add value to the economy of this country. There seems to be two groups i.e. those who want the government to be seen to be useless (generally identify themselves less with those in power) and those who want the results to be a justification of their efforts. At the end of the day, the truest measure to me is how many of the kids who started schooling 12 years ago, will progress further with their studies within the 12 year period. Also am interested to know what happens to those who have failed and why they have failed. This issue of the pass rate is absolutely useless and a waste of oxygen. If you want to create your own pass rate, so be it.

  • emmanuel chima - 2011-01-07 13:38

    Sowetan has a sick way of selling their paper. This is not the first time they publish wrong info and it will not be their last......

  • Ingie - 2011-01-07 13:44

    Who cares!!! I dont!!! am sure most only got on the 40% except for the brighter few

  • Tlaks - 2011-01-07 13:46

    Ja, it's quite possible for various people to arrive at different conclusions. It largely depends on what your motive is. Naturally you will tend to use those figures that tends to strengthen your argument! If we can misquote a verse in the bible to suit our circumstances, what are figures after all? Figures can be subjective, and can be manipulated. It is up to us to decide, what we need is tell us: How many students sat for end of year exam;how many passed and the number that qualified for university entrance. The rest, we'll work it out ourselves!We are not dumb! Tlaks.

  • Ingie - 2011-01-07 13:47

    Amazing how everyone gets so worked up over something that you can never rectify. If this is what the Dept says then sorry you have to accept it whether right or wrong

      ArtGee - 2011-01-07 14:00

      Please remember... there is NO excuse for SUPEDITY!

      S.Soga - 2011-01-07 14:07

      Surely we can question it?

  • Sam - 2011-01-07 13:51

    I tend to agree with the department of education on this one. Before anyone has a fit, consider this. Those learners writing one or two papers who failed in 2009, should not be counted again with the 2010 matric results, rather, it should only be the actual "class" of 2010 reflected in the results. Those repeating a "passing" subject now had their achievements built into the results for the 2009 percentages. Therefore, only those who wrote all 7 subjects (537 543 total students) and those who passed (364 515) does give the pass rate of 67%. Anyone else agree with me?

      lenand40 - 2011-01-07 14:12


      Picasso - 2011-01-08 08:36

      Wow, somebody with an IQ higher than 5. Thank you Sam for showing some reasoning.

  • dhng1980 - 2011-01-07 13:52

    Calculation of a pass rate is simple. The number of students passed divided by the total number of exams written, multiplied by 100. Why the Department of Basic Education excludes repeaters is beyond me. Is it because they do not attend school, because surely some (if not all) of them must. The pass rate of each subject should be compared individually from year to year to obtain a true reflection of how students are performing in that matric subject. Only then will it be possible to assess where secondary education in South Africa is going. Regardless of the concerns raised surrounding the overall pass rate, my real concern is by how much the pass rate for each of the subjects (and overall) were adjusted by the Department of Basic Education? Maybe the Sowetan can do a follow up article on this aspect. Oh and one last comment, I can't believe how some people can butcher the English language so badly. Why not just write the words out in full and try reading your comment before you post it?

      ArtGee - 2011-01-07 14:16

      When 500 000 sit down for an EXAM... and 250 000 pas = 50%! Those that REWROTE their exams, SURELY HAD TO ATTEND CLASSES TOO? Are they NOT sitting down to write the SAME EXAMS that the majority wrote? How can you EXCLUDE THEM? They wrote the same exam and must be counted as part of the collective!!!!!!

      lenand40 - 2011-01-07 14:16

      Repeaters do not have to write 7 subjects and therefore they cannot be deemed to have passed or failed since pass or failure is determined not only by passing a number of subjects, but by writing all subjects. Who really wants to know that 70% of those who sat for Music passed? What is important is science and commercial subjects. If 90% pass Geography, what does it mean? Does anyone care? I will not comment about the use of the English language in case I am found to have committed the same errors.

      dhng1980 - 2011-01-07 16:32

      @Lenand What do you think the Department of Basic Education does with students who failed all their subjects, are they also excluded because they are repeaters? Also, why is Music any less important than English, Accounting or Mathematics for that matter? They all count equally towards an overall pass. So, for me, it just makes sense to look at each subject individually. In addition, as I understand it the pass mark differs between subjects (e.g. 40% for English, 35% for Maths, etc.)and therefore it would be interesting to see if students take those subjects which require a lower pass mark to pass overall.

      Picasso - 2011-01-08 08:38

      No dhng1980, they are not excluded, that is why there is 18 schools with a 0% pass rate.

  • ArtGee - 2011-01-07 13:54

    According to my calculations it works out to be 56,6%... but then, I did NOT receive Bantu or OBE education, so I am pretty sure that I am INCORRECT!!!! Subtraction, Division, Mutiplication and Addition only works ONE WAY..... WHERE THE DEPT GOT THEIR METHOD FROM IS A MYSTERY!

      lenand40 - 2011-01-07 14:17

      Again, pointless argument. Same method has been used for 16 years whether it is right or wrong.

      Picasso - 2011-01-08 08:39

      And for 16 years none of the newspapers or other parties picked it up...

  • stargazeraisling - 2011-01-07 14:01

    you know what - wether it's 57 or 67% - either way it is an embarassment ! when i matriculated in 1991 - failing matric was "unheard of" it was just NOT an option. but, well done to all who passed and escpecially those who did so very well !

  • Johnathan - 2011-01-07 14:01

    Propaganda 101..... Lets talk about only needing 30% to pass a subject. So students only need to know less than 1/3 of the curriculum to be included in this 67% stat If the department wants to release stats, then they need to stop demonstrating NAZI type propaganda and band the stats into % passed with > 80%, 70%-79%, 60%-69% etc statistic bands to see how exciting things are. Secondly the propaganda forgets to state that our education system is rated 4th worst in the world as of Aug 2010. Well down South Africa, we managed to ONLY get a 67% pass rate on the worlds 4th worst system with a requirement of only having to know less 1/3 of the curriculum. The minister has truly set the bar for world standards. I wont hire these useless school graduates unless they prove > 65% avg. I will leave these for the BEEE over achiever companies in the country.

  • IceBlaster - 2011-01-07 14:03

    Math and physical science past rates are 47.4% and 47.8% respectively. To me that is the more important figure than the total pass rate.

      Picasso - 2011-01-08 09:04

      The scary thing is, with a Math and physical science past rates of 47.4% and 47.8% South Africa wants to enter the space age.

      Zion - 2011-01-08 14:52

      Iceblaster, During 2008 I had to instruct 1st year electrical apprentices On electrical lighting and the power consumption thereof. This arose out of the f**ckup that the great escom left us with. The two apprentices concerned had N5 mathematics and with a pass rate of about 75%. The arithmetic used to calculate wattages etc was basic Grade 8 work:- Ohms law and that type of thing. I found that the apprentices did not know the faintest as to what was going on. I later applied simplified tables to help them but to no avail. Basic concepts like resistance, watt, volt, amp etc left them deeper in the dark. Concurrent to this my son was, too, giving instruction to electrical apprentices on transnet in the Free State and had the identical problems with apprentices and mathematics. In one case he had a black female apprentice aged 28 who had actually tutored in mathematics in a local technikon at an advanced level. She could not grasp the very basics of electrical engineering theory or its mathematics. My son was not privy to the reasons given as to why she had become an apprentice. I can guess.

  • dhng1980 - 2011-01-07 14:07

    You can't be serious that the pass mark for some of the subjects in matric is 30%????? No wonder the pass rate went up. The Department of Basic Education would even have to adjust the marks with a pass mark that low. The scary thing is that a third of the students who wrote matric in 2010 (if you accept the Department of Basic Education’s statistics) got less than 30% overall. No wonder the kids getting into University (based on their matric results) struggle so much in their first year(s). Isn't the Department of Basic Education just doing students an injustice by setting the pass mark so low?

      ArtGee - 2011-01-07 14:17

      What kills me is the fact that 18 schools DID NOT HAVE ONE PASS... Thats sad..... 17 years AFTER Democracy... and this is still ACCEPTED?

      Serias - 2011-01-07 15:02

      How does not one single matric pass in 18 schools, having to know only 3 out of 10 questions out of the 4th worst education system in the world!!!!!! VIIIIVA!!!!!!! Power to the people!!!!!

  • syndica - 2011-01-07 14:16

    Lies, damn lies and statistics!